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HomesingaporePassers-by help people trapped after tree falls on vehicles in Tanjong Katong...

Passers-by help people trapped after tree falls on vehicles in Tanjong Katong Road

SINGAPORE – Community spirit was on display on Sunday afternoon when passers-by banded together to help drivers and passengers trapped in several vehicles that were hit by a fallen tree at a road junction.

The 20m-tall tree had fallen in front of City Plaza mall before the traffic junction of Tanjong Katong Road and Geylang Road just before 1pm. 

In videos taken in the aftermath of the incident, at least four vehicles, including a small lorry, are seen covered by tree branches.

The halted traffic caused a jam along the two-lane road.

In the videos, about 10 people are seen moving branches to the side of the road, while others help affected drivers and passengers out of their vehicles and control the traffic, despite the rain.

One of those who lent a helping hand was Mr Tom Deakin, 33.

He was heading to Kinex mall in Tanjong Katong Road with his wife and a friend when he heard a loud crack and saw the tree falling.

Mr Deakin, a content strategist at BBC Studios, said the tree split on impact, with its branches covering the road and several vehicles.

“There were quite a few shouts and screams and a lot of commotion when it first came down. It fell mainly on the road, and thankfully missed most of the pedestrian crossing and footpath,” he told The Straits Times.

“I started moving some of the heavier debris out of the road, while my wife, friend and some others started clearing the road so that some of the cars could start passing,” said Mr Deakin, who lives in the area.

Mr Vic Cienca, 48, said he was about to drive forward when a tree branch fell onto the hood of his car, causing his wife to cry in shock, reported Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao. 

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call for assistance in Tanjong Katong Road at 12.55pm on Sunday. 

A man sustained minor injuries but declined to be taken to hospital. 

Road clearance works by SCDF personnel ended at about 4.30pm, according to Zaobao. 

The tree was privately managed by City Plaza mall.

A management employee of the mall told The Straits Times that no one has filed an insurance claim yet.

No noticeable disruptions were observed in the mall, he added.

A mall spokesman said certified arborists and landscaping companies will be engaged to decide on appropriate pruning methods based on tree health to address the safety concerns of pedestrians and other road users, reported Shin Min Daily News.

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