SINGAPORE - A tree fell on a car at Scotts Road, in front of the Grand Hyatt Singapore hotel, on Wednesday afternoon (Nov 20).
The driver escaped unscathed with the help of passers-by, although the rear windscreen of his white Subaru was shattered.
The Straits Times understands that no injuries were reported.
Four lanes of the road were initially obstructed by the fallen tree when it fell at around 3pm.
By 5.30pm, three lanes had opened to traffic and the area where the tree had fallen was cordoned off.
The car’s driver, Mr Arvind Ramanlal, 71, told ST that it was raining heavily in the Orchard Road area before the incident. By the time he was on Scotts Road in his car, it had become a drizzle.
“I was driving and all of a sudden there was a loud noise and it was dark all around me,” said Mr Ramanlal, who was not injured. The tree struck only the back of his car.
“I knew a tree had fallen on my car...and had crushed some parts of it.”
Mr Ramanlal, who is in the trading business, tried to open the driver’s door and roll down the window but was unable to get out.
By then, passers-by had already gathered to help him.
About 15 people, including staff from Grand Hyatt Singapore, helped Mr Ramanlal to get out of his car safely.
Mr Arbaa Ishak, 44, a boutique security officer, who helped to move parts of the tree away from the car, said: “I saw that the driver couldn’t get out so I went over to help. We had no equipment so we just tried to move the tree’s branches with our bare hands until the (authorities) came.”
Singapore Civil Defence Force and police officers were seen at the site of the incident. National Parks Board officers were also seen cutting branches of the tree so that they did not block the road.
After the tree’s branches were cleared from the car, the vehicle, which was still functioning, was moved to the side of the road.
In 2017, a woman died after a tembusu tree fell on her at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
The tree was uprooted due to a combination of factors including heavy rainfall, strong winds and root problems.
It was estimated to be about 270 years old. The tree’s roots suffered severe decay below soil level and the decay eventually spread to its trunk, creating a massive internal cavity.