Date
20 October 2017
A pregnant woman died after being hit by a falling tree in Hong Kong on Thursday. The accident has sparked fresh debate about the laws governing trees and their maintenance in the city. Photo: HKEJ
A pregnant woman died after being hit by a falling tree in Hong Kong on Thursday. The accident has sparked fresh debate about the laws governing trees and their maintenance in the city. Photo: HKEJ

Tragic accident prompts calls for comprehensive Trees Law

Hong Kong authorities are facing growing calls for a comprehensive “Trees Law” to ensure public safety following a tragic incident in the city, Apple Daily reported.

A pregnant woman died after being hit by a falling tree in the Mid-Levels area Thursday afternoon. 

According to the Development Bureau, the Hong Kong government agency responsible for urban planning, environmental protection and lands administration, the fallen tree was not on the official list of Old and Valuable Trees, but was instead under the management of a private housing estate.

It was not the first such accident in Hong Kong. Four people had been killed in the past six year due to falling trees, the report said.

A reporter who toured the city along with tree specialist Professor Jim Chi-yung found many trees that were in an unhealthy condition and could potentially come down at any time, the paper said.

Just 300 meters away from Thursday’s accident site at Robinson Road, the duo is said to have spotted 10-meter-high White Jade Orchid trees that had been invaded by fungus and could come crashing down soon.

Following two tragedies in 2008 and 2010, the Hong Kong government has strengthened regular examinations on trees on government land, but those in private residential sites are left untouched.

Jim suggests that only licensed companies should be employed to nurse trees in the city. Also, he called for a law that will ensure regular inspections of trees in both government land and private estates.

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