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Coroner: Mom Crushed to Death by 70 Percent Decayed Tembusu Tree a Case of Tragic Misadventure


Following an inquiry, the coroner has found that the death of a mother-of-two who was crushed by a heritage Tembusu tree at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 11 Feb last year is a case of “tragic misadventure”.

This, despite the knowledge that the tree was 70 percent decayed.

38-year-old Radhika Angara, her French husband and their pair of 1-year-old twins were attending an outdoor concert at the Botanic Gardens when the 40-metre heritage Tembusu tree toppled.

Radhika couldn’t flee in time and was crushed to death.

Her husband and children, and another 26-year-old Singaporean woman suffered injuries.

An arborist (professional tree inspector) who examined the 270-year-old tree reported that the section which broke off was 70 percent decayed.

In July last year, professional tree consultant Derek Yap told the court that the tree was decaying from the inside.

However, the rot had not been visible to inspectors from the outside.

A senior National Parks official told the court in July last year that the tree did not have a cavity or show signs of decay in its trunk following a tree inspection in Sept 2016.

The Tembusu tree that collapsed had reportedly been inspected twice a year.

NParks has also claimed that its inspection and care of trees in Singapore is in line with global standards, and even exceeds the best practices of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) in some areas.




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