89-year-old man dies after being struck by falling tree branch in North Bridge Road

The police were alerted to the case of unnatural death in 7 North Bridge Road at 5.26am on April 21, 2018.
The police were alerted to the case of unnatural death in 7 North Bridge Road at 5.26am on April 21, 2018.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
Jalan Besar GRC said that the tree, along with others in the estate, were last inspected by an aborist in December 2017.
Jalan Besar GRC said that the tree, along with others in the estate, were last inspected by an aborist in December 2017.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - An 89-year-old man died after he was allegedly struck by a falling tree branch on Saturday morning (April 21).

The incident took place in North Bridge Road.

The police told The Straits Times that they were alerted to the case of unnatural death in 7 North Bridge Road at 5.26am.

"An 89-year-old man was lying motionless at the said location," said the police.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it received a call for ambulance assistance at about 5.30am.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua told ST that she was sadddened by the unfortunate incident.

"In my 12 years as MP in my constituency, this is the first incident of a resident's demise caused by a fallen tree branch, but every life lost is one too many," she said. "Every resident is important and precious. I want to see an even more aggressive plan to ensure such an incident will not happen."

She said she rushed down to the scene with the officers from the Jalan Besar Town Council and the Housing Board on Saturday morning and visited the man's home.

"He lived alone, although he has more than 10 children. The family members have been located. I've contacted the daughter and consoled her and offered help," said Ms Phua.

Jalan Besar GRC said in a Facebook post on Saturday afternoon that the town council was greatly saddened by the resident's demise.

"Jalan Besar Town Council was alerted to a case of a falling tree branch hitting a resident at about 7am this morning in the vicinity of Block 7 North Bridge Road," it wrote. "Sadly, the resident has passed on."

The town council said it was in touch with the man's family members to provide assistance and support.

"The town council would like to assure residents that it has in place an active horticulture maintenance programme," said Jalan Besar GRC. "Under this programme, trees in the town are inspected by an arborist every six months, and major pruning is carried out where necessary. This tree, along with others in the estate, were last inspected by an aborist in December. The next inspection is scheduled in June."

It added that general maintenance is carried out once every month on top of the half-yearly programme.

The monthly general maintenance includes pruning, which began on Friday for trees in the estate and continued on Saturday.