WHITTIER >> One person died and five more were injured after a tree fell onto a group of people at Penn Park in Whittier on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
•Video: Tree falls on group of people in Whittier
The incident was first reported about 4:40 p.m. at the park, 13950 Penn Street.
Firefighters treated six patients in all, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said via Twitter.
“The injured were transported to local area hospitals where it has since been reported one of the victims has succumbed to their injuries,” Whittier police officials said in a written statement. “Another, described only as a 4-year-old female, is in critical condition as a result of head trauma.”
Witness Gilbert Duran, who was photographing a Quinceanera celebration at the park, said the tree toppled as a wedding party was taking pictures beneath it.
Families, including children, went rushing out from under the tree, he said. Some had to be pulled free from the by good Samaritans and rescuers. Witnesses performed CPR on at least one injured woman.
“It’s nuts. This tree is humongous,” he said. “I can’t believe this.”
“They’re taking pictures under this tree and all of a sudden it jut collapsed,” Duran said. We just watched some little kids go flat underneath that tree.”
Duran said he and his group had been standing under the tree only minutes before, but had moved to another spot in search of better lighting for their own photography.
“I hope they’re going to be OK. Pray for these families at Penn Park in Whittier,” he said.
The cause of the mishap was yet to be determined.
“This is an ongoing investigation and it is unknown at this time as to what may have caused the tree to fall,” according to the police statement.
No further details were immediately available.
PHOTO via Keith Durflinger