CALIFORNIA: A wedding occasion turned into a nightmare when a large tree fell on a wedding party killing one person and injuring five others while the guests were busy taking photographs at a southern California park.
Six people were trapped under the tree at Penn park in Whittier, the Los Angeles County fire department said. Video from the scene showed fire crews using chain saws to cut through the branches. The incident occurred a few months ago.
Four of the injured suffered scrapes and bruises and one had moderate injuries, officials said. Paramedics and wedding guests have been offered trauma counselling.
Witnesses described hearing a loud crack and seeing people run from the area.
The tree could have been weakened by California’s ongoing drought and recent heavy rain could have contributed to its fall, officials said.
Footage from the incident taken by multiple bystanders and uploaded to social media shows rescuers giving CPR to the bride’s mother.
She can be seen lying down on the ground in her dress for the event as three men try to revive her.
One of the eyewitnesses, who was in the park for a quinceañera, said she saw the bride screaming after the tree fell while standing over her unconscious mother.
Whittier Mayor Joe Vinatieri told the LA Times on Sunday: ‘The mother lost her life. A 4-year-old is injured. How do you explain it? You can’t.’
‘The tragedy of the situation is on the hearts and minds of many people. We need to pray for the family because of the injuries and losing someone on a day that’s supposed to be a great celebration.’
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the tree to fall. Officials speculated that the California drought could have weakened the eucalyptus which is believed to be around 50 years old.
‘We’ve seen this happen throughout Southern California with both the drought conditions— trees are stressed — and we did have a large amount of rain,’ Deputy Chief John Tripp of the Los Angeles County Fire Department told the LA Times.
The following shows a similar incident that occurred in Lexington, Kentucky during a wedding party.
Warning: Some viewers may find this video upsetting