‘I could have been killed’ – lucky escape for residents as 120ft tree crashes through windows at flats

Bournemouth Echo: WOOD PILE: The destruction caused by the fallen tree WOOD PILE: The destruction caused by the fallen tree

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.”

Comments (10)

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9:10am Fri 7 Feb 14

isthisit says...

Dorset council tree huggers please note, trees can somtimes kill too!!!
Dorset council tree huggers please note, trees can somtimes kill too!!! isthisit

10:20am Fri 7 Feb 14

speedy231278 says...

isthisit wrote:
Dorset council tree huggers please note, trees can somtimes kill too!!!
Yes, let's cut every single one down just in case. Or maybe just accept that sometimes trees can fall over even if they aren't diseased, or stood next to a councillor's mate's development.....
[quote][p][bold]isthisit[/bold] wrote: Dorset council tree huggers please note, trees can somtimes kill too!!![/p][/quote]Yes, let's cut every single one down just in case. Or maybe just accept that sometimes trees can fall over even if they aren't diseased, or stood next to a councillor's mate's development..... speedy231278

11:51am Fri 7 Feb 14

spooki says...

That must have been scary!
That must have been scary! spooki

12:47pm Fri 7 Feb 14

RageAgainstTheMachine says...

Could of! Wasn't. Move on next
Could of! Wasn't. Move on next RageAgainstTheMachine

2:21pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ekimnoslen says...

If the current weather patterns persist the council has a problem. As a nation we have far too many trees close to residential and commercial properties which due to lack of maintenance have grown far too large and in high winds pose a threat to life and property.
We should all remember that the householder or landlord is responsible for any damage, death or injury. I believe that all large trees should be inspected annually to confirm their state of "health".
If you have a large tree in your garden you can apply to the council to fell it. If permission is refused and the tree is subsequently blown down you will at least have a comeback on the council and the public servant who refused permission.
If your tree is not subject to a TPO you can presumably have it professionially felled.
If the current weather patterns persist the council has a problem. As a nation we have far too many trees close to residential and commercial properties which due to lack of maintenance have grown far too large and in high winds pose a threat to life and property. We should all remember that the householder or landlord is responsible for any damage, death or injury. I believe that all large trees should be inspected annually to confirm their state of "health". If you have a large tree in your garden you can apply to the council to fell it. If permission is refused and the tree is subsequently blown down you will at least have a comeback on the council and the public servant who refused permission. If your tree is not subject to a TPO you can presumably have it professionially felled. ekimnoslen

3:21pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Nigel Blumenthal says...

As some of you may know, we spend part of our time in Canada, and this year we've been in Toronto since September. This winter we've also had some terrible storms, although in our case it's been freezing rain and snow that did the damage. We have the same issues - untrimmed or un-maintained trees are damaged by these strong winds or, in our case, by the weight of snow and ice on branches. Many trees simply split and huge chunks of branches fell across roads and across electricity and phone lines, resulting in a couple of weeks without full power over our network.

I think you don't need necessarily to fell trees, as has been suggested, but certainly trimming and maintenance would help. Of course, like most maintenance, it's been an easy victim to council cuts (no pun intended) over the last few years. Sadly, if you don't do the little bits of maintenance, sooner or later there will be a big problem, and the same money will have to be spent anyway, only this time it will be to clean up a large mess.
As some of you may know, we spend part of our time in Canada, and this year we've been in Toronto since September. This winter we've also had some terrible storms, although in our case it's been freezing rain and snow that did the damage. We have the same issues - untrimmed or un-maintained trees are damaged by these strong winds or, in our case, by the weight of snow and ice on branches. Many trees simply split and huge chunks of branches fell across roads and across electricity and phone lines, resulting in a couple of weeks without full power over our network. I think you don't need necessarily to fell trees, as has been suggested, but certainly trimming and maintenance would help. Of course, like most maintenance, it's been an easy victim to council cuts (no pun intended) over the last few years. Sadly, if you don't do the little bits of maintenance, sooner or later there will be a big problem, and the same money will have to be spent anyway, only this time it will be to clean up a large mess. Nigel Blumenthal

3:42pm Fri 7 Feb 14

drJones says...

ekimnoslen wrote:
If the current weather patterns persist the council has a problem. As a nation we have far too many trees close to residential and commercial properties which due to lack of maintenance have grown far too large and in high winds pose a threat to life and property.
We should all remember that the householder or landlord is responsible for any damage, death or injury. I believe that all large trees should be inspected annually to confirm their state of "health".
If you have a large tree in your garden you can apply to the council to fell it. If permission is refused and the tree is subsequently blown down you will at least have a comeback on the council and the public servant who refused permission.
If your tree is not subject to a TPO you can presumably have it professionially felled.
I think you meant to say "We have far too many houses built next to the trees" Its pretty obvious the trees were there first, not the other way round.
[quote][p][bold]ekimnoslen[/bold] wrote: If the current weather patterns persist the council has a problem. As a nation we have far too many trees close to residential and commercial properties which due to lack of maintenance have grown far too large and in high winds pose a threat to life and property. We should all remember that the householder or landlord is responsible for any damage, death or injury. I believe that all large trees should be inspected annually to confirm their state of "health". If you have a large tree in your garden you can apply to the council to fell it. If permission is refused and the tree is subsequently blown down you will at least have a comeback on the council and the public servant who refused permission. If your tree is not subject to a TPO you can presumably have it professionially felled.[/p][/quote]I think you meant to say "We have far too many houses built next to the trees" Its pretty obvious the trees were there first, not the other way round. drJones

5:39pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Nigel Blumenthal says...

drJones wrote:
ekimnoslen wrote:
If the current weather patterns persist the council has a problem. As a nation we have far too many trees close to residential and commercial properties which due to lack of maintenance have grown far too large and in high winds pose a threat to life and property.
We should all remember that the householder or landlord is responsible for any damage, death or injury. I believe that all large trees should be inspected annually to confirm their state of "health".
If you have a large tree in your garden you can apply to the council to fell it. If permission is refused and the tree is subsequently blown down you will at least have a comeback on the council and the public servant who refused permission.
If your tree is not subject to a TPO you can presumably have it professionially felled.
I think you meant to say "We have far too many houses built next to the trees" Its pretty obvious the trees were there first, not the other way round.
Not necessarily. Homes built in the '40s and '50s are already sixty-plus years old, and a tree or two planted when the house was built would be quite a size by now.
[quote][p][bold]drJones[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ekimnoslen[/bold] wrote: If the current weather patterns persist the council has a problem. As a nation we have far too many trees close to residential and commercial properties which due to lack of maintenance have grown far too large and in high winds pose a threat to life and property. We should all remember that the householder or landlord is responsible for any damage, death or injury. I believe that all large trees should be inspected annually to confirm their state of "health". If you have a large tree in your garden you can apply to the council to fell it. If permission is refused and the tree is subsequently blown down you will at least have a comeback on the council and the public servant who refused permission. If your tree is not subject to a TPO you can presumably have it professionially felled.[/p][/quote]I think you meant to say "We have far too many houses built next to the trees" Its pretty obvious the trees were there first, not the other way round.[/p][/quote]Not necessarily. Homes built in the '40s and '50s are already sixty-plus years old, and a tree or two planted when the house was built would be quite a size by now. Nigel Blumenthal

6:57pm Fri 7 Feb 14

simcal says...

I was in the road but just got to the pavement when a bus came past. A few seconds earlier and it would have passed right over where I was crossing. Needed to get that in the Echo!
I was in the road but just got to the pavement when a bus came past. A few seconds earlier and it would have passed right over where I was crossing. Needed to get that in the Echo! simcal

10:01pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Ex PHC says...

How come so many branches and fir trees have fallen across pavements in the past few days. Does the council tree officer not check out the trees to keep us pedestrians safe or does he only move when developers say JUMP. I know for a fact that The National Trust check out their trees to keep their clients safe.
How come so many branches and fir trees have fallen across pavements in the past few days. Does the council tree officer not check out the trees to keep us pedestrians safe or does he only move when developers say JUMP. I know for a fact that The National Trust check out their trees to keep their clients safe. Ex PHC

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