Woman killed by falling Christmas tree on Belgian market square

December 24, 2023 - 9:37 AM
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Image by Matt Seymour via Unsplash

A woman was killed and two people were injured by a large Christmas tree that fell over during stormy weather in the Belgian city of Oudenaarde, authorities said on Friday.

Security camera footage on Belgian news media showed a brightly lit 20-metre (66 ft) high Christmas tree slowly leaning over, then collapsing next to a Christmas market on Thursday as a merry-go-round turned in the historic town square.

A spokesman for the Oost-Vlaanderen province prosecutor said the victim was 63-year old woman from Oudenaarde. Two women from the same town were lightly injured in the incident.

“The investigation will focus on whether the tree had been properly secured and will also look at the impact of the weather,” he said.

Storm Pia, which disrupted traffic in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands on Thursday, also hit western Belgium, where the weather service issued a yellow code warning for the coastal areas.

The storm also caused a death in the Netherlands where a woman died of her injuries on Friday after she was hit by a falling tree on Thursday, her employer healthcare organization ZoZijn said.

— Reporting by Geert De Clercq, additional reporting by Charlotte Van CampenhoutEditing by Tomasz Janowski and Barbara Lewis