Fallen tree had decaying roots, says DBKL

At least two people were injured after a fallen tree struck a motorcycle and a car in a freak accident along Jalan Ampang  March 5, 2018.— Picture courtesy of KL Fire and Rescue Department
At least two people were injured after a fallen tree struck a motorcycle and a car in a freak accident along Jalan Ampang March 5, 2018.— Picture courtesy of KL Fire and Rescue Department

PETALING JAYA, March 5 — Decaying roots were the probable cause of a rain-tree falling over and injuring a couple on a motorcycle in the city this morning, according to the City Hall (DBKL)

DBKL Corporate Planning Department director Fadzilah Abd Rashid in a statement explained the deteriorating condition of the tree, said to be more than 130 years old, had occurred beyond their anticipations.

“The fallen tree looked fine physically from the outside, however after the incident we could clearly see the base of the tree with roots that were rotting.

“The rot would have badly affected the roots, which in turn resulted in the tree losing its stability and prone to falling over,” she said.

A couple on a motorcycle were injured from the fallen tree along Jalan Ampang this morning, while a car was crushed. However, the driver escaped unharmed.

The couple is currently still receiving treatment for their injuries at Hospital Kuala Lumpur. 

Fadzilah said trees along Jalan Ampang, initially planted in the 1880s then as part of the landscaping, were groomed twice last year.

She explained the trees underwent maintenance grooming, branch trimming, and crown reduction procedures in April and December last year.

She added that DBKL have since implemented new enforcement rules making it mandatory for landscape contractors to hire arborists to inspect each tree physically.

“With the findings made by the arborists, we then can identify locations of high risk trees and decide the next course of action,” the statement read.

She added DBKL are in the process of formulating a Tree Risk Management Plan which would prioritise trees located near sidewalks.

Fadzilah said that in the plan, arborists would be engaged to carry out detailed inspections on trees in the city.

“In their reports, the arborists will have to include their recommendations on the inspected trees, whether it can stay, needs to be cut down and replaced with a new tree, or removed completely,” she said.

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