A woman has died and five others have been injured in a freak accident at a wedding in Southern California. They were part of a wedding party busy taking photos of what was, up until then, a happy occasion in Whittier’s Penn Park when a large eucalyptus tree fell on them.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department used chainsaws to cut through a number of branches in a bid to save people reported to be trapped underneath. Most of those who were injured escaped with just scrapes and bruises, but a four year old girl is understood to be in a critical condition after suffering head injuries in the incident. According to witnesses, there was a loud crack and people tried to flee as the tree came down. However, some were simply too close to be able to get out of the way in time. Distressed wedding party members could be seen hugging each other and making their way to safety as fire crews worked.
Drought then rain
It is understood that the tree could have been weakened as a result of the drought which is ongoing in California. An investigation is now set to be launched by tree specialists to determine whether any other trees in the park could be unsafe. It is thought that the period of drought, followed by recent heavy rainfall could perhaps have loosened the roots and caused it to become unstable.
So far, the woman’s name has not been released, although it is understood that family and friends are already aware of her death. While her loved ones will be facing the challenge of having to come to terms with their loss just before Christmas, the bride and groom will be remembering what should have been the happiest days, for all the wrong reasons.