A Southern California park has been closed for an indefinite period of time after an 80-foot eucalyptus tree fell on a wedding pictures, the killing and wounding seven others Saturday.
The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that Whittier’s Penn Park is closed for an indefinite period of time until an arborist can explain why the tree fell. Mayor Joe Vinatieri said the tree was at least 50 years old.
City Manager Jeff Collier said the researchers will also inspect other trees to ensure that no risk to fall.
The paper reported that the fire officials believe that the recent rainfall in combination with California’s drought may have been a factor in the tree falling over.
“We have seen this happen in Southern California with both the drought — trees are stressed and we have a large amount of rain,” Los Angeles County Deputy Chief John Tripp said.
Up to 20 people were trapped under the tree after it fell around 4:30 pm Saturday, fire officials told KTTV. Video of the scene firefighters using chainsaws to cut through the fallen branches. Witnesses described hearing a loud bang, and seeing people from the area.
One of the victims was a 4-year-old girl. She remains in critical condition due to head injuries. Vinatieri said the mother of the girl was the lonely death so far. The mother was not identified.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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