Date
22 May 2017
Termites were found on the fallen tree after it fell down and hurt two people in Yuen Long. Photos: HKEJ
Termites were found on the fallen tree after it fell down and hurt two people in Yuen Long. Photos: HKEJ

LCSD under fire after tree collapse in Yuen Long playground

A man and his granddaughter were injured when a tree collapsed onto a swing in a Yuen Long playground.

The victims suffered minor injuries to their hands and faces, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The 23-meter Norfolk island pine showed termite infestation, weakening its roots and stem.

The discovery sparked criticism of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) which oversees Hong Kong’s parks and other public facilities.

LCSD said inspections will be carried out on other trees and contractors have been hired to clear the debris.  

The fallen tree was last inspected in August, with no problems found, LCSD said.

Prof. Jim Chi-yung of the department of geography in the University of Hong Kong said the park is not suitable for Norfolk island pine trees.

Jim said the planter was too small for a tree that size and there was no grass or shrubs to help water permeate into the roots.

Such trees could grow to more than 70 meters in height and 80 centimeters in diameter.

The tree is considered small at just 50 cm. in diameter, probably due to malnutrition, he said.

[Chinese version 中文版]

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