Baby born after mother killed by falling tree in Hong Kong

Hong Kong: A baby boy is in a critical condition after being delivered by emergency caesarean section as a result of his mother being killed by a falling tree in Hong Kong.

The tree struck the woman, knocking her unconscious, at about 2.30pm local time on Thursday in the southern Chinese city's wealthy Mid-Levels neighbourhood, local media reported.

The pregnant woman, who was identified by police as a 37-year-old Hong Kong resident Zhang Qin, was rushed to hospital but was certified dead on arrival. Her baby remains in a critical condition.

"The mother was certified dead. The baby is still in the intensive-care unit and the condition is critical," a hospital authority spokesman said.

Hong Kong's summer months often experience wet and windy conditions and the city lies in the path of seasonal typhoons.

In the past 24-hours torrential downpours have dumped as much as 40 centimetres of rain on the city of about 7 million people.


Witnesses said people at the scene helped lift the tree off the mother who had sustained injuries to her head. The Hong Kong Standard reported the tree was a 10-metre tall, century-old India rubber tree.

"The people at the nearby bus station were saying that there seemed to be someone crushed by the tree, so a few of them walked there and lifted the tree to find a pregnant lady there, she was not moving," a witness only identified by his surname Lee told Cable TV News.

"The tree crushed a pregnant female, she was unconscious and after she was sent to a hospital, she was certified to be dead," a police spokeswoman said without giving further details.

Pictures on Apple Daily website showed a pregnant woman being transported to an ambulance on a stretcher.

Many wrote messages of support for the baby.

''Hope the baby makes it,'' local resident Wong Chui-yi wrote under an online news report.

The South China Morning Post reported that apartment owners and the management company of the residential block could face legal action. It is the third fatality in 10 years caused by falling trees in Hong Kong.

Agence France-Presse