Narrow escape for family after tree falls on their car in Dhoby Ghaut
Wife hurt after branch smashes her window and son, 12, taken to hospital after complaining of neck pain
A couple and their young son had a narrow escape after a huge tree fell on their car in Penang Road on Saturday.
The uprooted tree was about seven storeys high and obstructed three lanes of the road, Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it responded to a call for assistance in Penang Road near Singapore Shopping Centre at about 5.45pm.
"A boy was assessed by SCDF paramedics," a spokesman told The New Paper yesterday.
Shin Min said the tree trunk was about a metre thick.
TNP understands it was a raintree and took about three hours to clear.
The family had just left Plaza Singapura and were travelling towards Cavenagh Road when the tree fell on their white Audi.
"I was travelling on the second lane when I heard a loud noise, and I felt something hit the roof of my car," the driver, who did not want to be named, told Shin Min.
Seconds later, a branch pierced through a window of his car, causing him to stop immediately.
The roof was dented and the windscreen and left front window were badly damaged.
The driver said: "We were dumbfounded, and even till now we are still jittery over the close shave."
He added that no cars were near his Audi when the tree fell.
"My car was hit by a branch. If I had been driving on the left most lane, we could have been crushed by the tree trunk."
He said his wife, who was in the front passenger seat, sustained cuts from the branch that smashed through her window.
His 12-year-old son was covered in shattered glass.
"He later said that he felt pain at the back of his neck, so we took him to Gleneagles Hospital for a check-up," the man added.
An eyewitness, who wanted to be known only as Mr Liu, 52, said it was not raining at the time, but it was windy.
The businessman told Shin Min: "The surrounding trees did not collapse. It could be that the roots of the fallen tree had been loosened in the soil."
The incident caused a traffic jam for about two hours while workers cleared the debris and removed the tree.
SBS Transit said on Facebook on Saturday that the incident caused delays to bus services No. 7, 14, 16, 65, 111, 124, 162/162M, 174 and 175 in Penang Road towards Somerset Road. The affected services resumed normal operations at around 7pm.
This is the second time in three months that a large tree has fallen in the Orchard area.
Last November, driver Arvind Ramanlal, 71, was trapped in his car for 10 minutes after a tree fell across his car in Scotts Road.
About 15 people, including employees from the Grand Hyatt Singapore, helped Mr Ramanlal get out of his car safely.