24 Jan 2019

CCC confident of management despite injuries from falling branches

12:19 pm on 24 January 2019

Christchurch City Council says it is confident in its management of trees around the city despite incidents of branches falling.

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Photo: RNZ

Two limbs snapped off a pin oak on Rolleston Avenue beside the Canterbury Museum last night injuring two people.

Christchurch City Council head of parks Andrew Rutledge said two people were under the tree when it fell.

"Immediately following that the area was cordoned off and police took control along with ambulance staff and the people were extracted."

One had serious injuries below the waist, while the other had minor injuries, he said.

Firefighters were also kept busy yesterday after severe weather brought down trees and caused debris on roads in Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago.

Mr Rutledge said staff had spent the night checking on various trees.

"Our staff have been working thought the night on various tree incidents to ensure the city is safe."

Mr Rutledge told Morning Report the council was confident in its management of trees around the city.

"They're pretty common and adverse events such as the ones we had last night with these storms, a few limbs down here and there and the occasional tree.

"Our team follows internationally followed practices around tree management.

"The risk of being injured by a tree is incredibly low worldwide. Obviously it does happen occasionally and we've had two in a row, one in Queenstown and one in Christchurch, but we're very confident that our tree management processes are up to date."

In another incident on Tuesday, a mother and her son were critically injured after a tree fell on five tourists in Queenstown.

Bystanders lifted the tree off five tourists, including a family of four with two preschoolers, at the Shotover Jet base. They were all hospitalised after the incident.

Of the three people remaining in hospital, one child is in a serious and stable condition and an adult and a child are in stable conditions.

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