Area where tree fell, injured 8 in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park was recently inspected: Officials

The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation department said the picnic area where the event took place was inspected within the last week.

Bryanna Gallagher Image
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Eight people were injured Sunday afternoon when a large tree fell on a group having a class reunion party. Then, hours later, a second tree fell.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Crews were out in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park on Monday morning clearing out the fallen trees and debris.

Eight people were injured Sunday afternoon when a large tree fell on a group having a class reunion party. Then, hours later, a second tree fell.

The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation department said the picnic area where the event took place was inspected within the last week.

SEE ALSO: 8 injured when tree falls on group of people in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park

"You see where it fell was from the root. It wasn't no branches that fell, the whole tree toppled over. Thank God no one was killed. It could have been even worse," said Luther Floyd, who was at the event.

He says if the tree would have fallen any later, there would have been dozens of people inside of the tent and it could have been a lot worse.

Officials identified the tree as a 90-year-old white oak.

Then hours later, a second oak tree fell. No one was injured when the second tree fell.

Eric Christopher comes to the park often to enjoy the shade from the trees. He says he saw crews inspecting trees near The Mann Center the other day.

"They had a whole company out checking trees. I was amazed," Christopher said.

The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation department says 1.3 million trees make up Philadelphia's urban forest but say they can't inspect every tree in parks.

"We prepare picnic sites seasonally and inspect them weekly. Park supervisors inspect picnic areas for hazards, items in need of repair, and fallen or hanging tree branches. This picnic site was inspected within the last week," said a spokesperson for the department.

"I understand you have a park full of trees but a dead tree especially that big, should stand out I would think... as big as that tree was as dead as it was that's a sure giveaway," said Floyd.

Also over the weekend, a large branch fell on a vehicle in Cobbs Creek, bringing down wires with it.

Floyd says he'll continue to pray for the classmates still in the hospital, he says so far three have been released.