Falling branch like 'shotgun fire'
Tue, 25 Sep 2012 8:30a.m.
A man who was walking through London's Kew Gardens when a Kiwi woman was killed by a falling tree branch says the sound of the branch cracking was like "shotgun fire".
The 32-year-old woman, who was living in the UK, was walking around the popular gardens when the branch struck her during stormy weather on Sunday afternoon, local time.
Ambulance crews tried to save her but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The death is not being treated as suspicious.
Marketing director Gary Baker was walking through Kew Gardens with his wife when the branch fell.
"There were several cracks to my left. It sounded like shotgun fire in very quick succession," he told the BBC.
"I looked around and there was quite clearly a movement in a tree, something falling."
Mr Baker ran over to the woman and saw a "big chunk of branch a metre or so away".
Kew Gardens was closed on Monday following severe weather warnings.
A Kew Gardens spokesman confirmed a "tragic accident" had occurred when a falling branch resulted in the death.
"Our deepest sympathy is with family and friends," the spokesman said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is offering consular assistance to the woman's family.
A post-mortem examination is due to take place on Tuesday.
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