Undeniably, it is a tragic accident that is both sad and shocking. However, Loong Wai is not the first person in Singapore to die by a falling tree. You may recall that in May 2007, there were 2 separate fatal incidents caused by falling trees/branches that happened to a woman in Bukit Batok Nature Park and a Vietnamese man near the Tree Top Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir.
According to the authorities, the tree that killed Loong Wai was uprooted by a microburst which is a localised, powerful descending air draft column that produces damaging winds at high speed. Microbursts are known to knock down fully grown trees. National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said that were 240 incidents involving trees or branches which fell last month, largely due to bad weather. The figure is more than double that of the 90 incidents during the same month last year.
Then just 2 days ago, a motorcyclist had a narrow escape when he tried to avoid a tree branch that had fallen across 2 out of 3 lanes of the Bukit Timah Expressway. He lost control of his scooter and fell. However, it was fortunate that he was not hurt.
|Fallen tree blocking off all 3 lanes of westbound Jalan Bukit Merah|
|A worker perched precariously on top of the fallen tree|
|Curious onlookers at the scene|
Part of the concrete walkway was prised out of the ground by the immense force.
|Even a lamp post with a Tanjong Pagar GRC poster tied to it had fallen over unceremoniously|
17 trees uprooted early Sunday