LUCKY residents of Bournemouth flats escaped death and serious injury by inches when a 120ft tree crashed through windows and garages.

The 15 ton tree missed Anna Alves by inches as she got into her mother’s car outside Park View in Braidley Road.

And it smashed through the windows of two flats where residents escaped flying glass.

The massive tree plummeted to the ground in high winds at 10.30am on Wednesday.

Anna, a 23-year-old student at Southampton Solent University, told the Daily Echo: “I was waiting for my mum to reverse the car out of the garage, then I got into the car.

“As I closed the door there was a huge noise and the tree landed right where I had been standing – I couldn’t even open the door to get out.

“If it had come down a second earlier I would have been killed. I think we have been very lucky.”

Pensioner Pat Lidiker, 77, was in her flat when the tree smashed her living room window.

She said: “It sounded like a bomb had gone off and scattered glass across the room. I was in the study at the time but I would normally have been sitting in front of the window reading the paper or watching the television.

“I feel very fortunate. It was fate – I would have ended up in hospital or dead.”

Mrs Lidiker added: “It was very frightening at the time and I was in such a panic but my neighbours have been wonderful and very supportive. They helped me to clear up the glass “I can joke about it now because no one was hurt. I moved to Bournemouth from Leicester 10 years ago for the mellow climate but I wasn’t expecting this.”

In the flat above, writer Shande Niemann, 32, and 31-year-old recruitment agent Hannah Alazhar were terrified when the tree smashed their window.

“I thought we had been hit by lightning at first” said Hannah. “It sounded like a bomb. I was home from work because I was ill but it was not a very peaceful day.”

Shande added: “The glass in the window was hanging like a guillotine and we were terrified it was going to drop on to someone below. The wind was whistling round the flat.”

Tree surgeon Mark Hunter was yesterday removing a dangerous tree from the site.

He said: “If it had gone over on Wednesday night it would have flattened the house opposite so we advised them not to use the rooms at the front of the house.”