89-year-old cleaner dies after getting hit by tree branch at North Bridge Road

A man was killed after getting struck by a falling tree branch at a pathway between Block 17 Beach Road and Block 7 North Bridge Road, at about 5.30am on Saturday (April 21).

Mr Muhamed Senin, 89, who lived alone in a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat at North Bridge Road, had been walking to Sultan Plaza where he worked as a cleaner. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Mr Cai, 50, was having his breakfast at a coffee shop nearby when he heard a loud bang.

He turned around and discovered that someone had fallen to the ground. 

He told Lianhe Wanbao that he ran over to Mr Muhamed, and found him motionless.

Mr Cai called the police immediately. 

A resident, Mr Wang, 70, said that he witnessed a commotion at the foot of Block 17 while he was going for his morning jog at about 6am.

Said Mr Wang:

“I heard that the victim was on his way to work.

“As he was passing by the area, a tree branch fell and hit him.”

Lianhe Wanbao later visited the scene and reporters observed two large trees being pruned. 

Another resident living in Block 9, Mr Wang Nan Fa, 68, told reporters:

“I came down at around 8am and saw that an area had been fenced up.

“I asked around and found out that someone had been hit by a falling branch. 

“After that, the workers came to prune the trees.”

One of Mr Muhamed’s daughter-in-law, Madam Masnawiah Mansor, 53, told The Straits Times that she was shocked when a family member called to inform her of her father-in-law’s death.

She said:

"My father-in-law was very healthy. 

“Many of us asked him to move in with us, but he liked to be independent.

“He was jovial and worked hard.”

Mr Muhamed was buried on Sunday afternoon (April 22) and is survived by 13 children, more than 30 grandchildren, as well as 20 great-grandchildren, who would take turns to visit him every day.

Mr Muhamed chose to stay in his North Bridge Road flat alone after his wife died in 2007.

One of his daughters lives near him and would bring him food regularly, family members said.

After the burial on Sunday, family members met Jalan Besar GRC MP and Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua at Mr Muhamed's flat.

Ms Phua told The Straits Times:

“We will render any assistance the family needs. 

“It is unfortunate that such an incident has happened, the first time in our GRC.”

She added:

“Because there are many elderly residents in the area, I have asked the Jalan Besar Town Council for a faster and more aggressive push to make sure all the areas are safe, and the trees are removed if they are not deemed to be safe.”

The town council which oversees the area said that the tree from the branch had fallen was last inspected by an arborist in December last year, along with other trees in the estate. 

The next inspection is due in June 2018.

It also issued an official statement on its Facebook page, saying that there is "an active horticulture maintenance programme" in place. 

Under the programme, trees in town are inspected by an arborist every six months, and major pruning will be carried out when necessary. 

It said that general maintenance is carried out once a month, on top of the programme. 

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