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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

91-year-old woman dies after tree branch falls on her in south Mumbai

Leela Sukhi passed away on Tuesday morning; BMC blames organisation for not trimming tree, which is located inside its premises.

mumbai Updated: May 29, 2018 11:17 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
The Ashoka tree branch that collapsed on 91-year-old Sukhi Lilaji.
The Ashoka tree branch that collapsed on 91-year-old Sukhi Lilaji.(Photo courtesy: BMC)

A 91-year-old woman died after the branch of an Ashoka tree fell on her while she was out on her evening walk on Monday, near Banganga Tank, Walkeshwar.

Leela Gokuldas Sukhi, who suffered multiple injuries, was rushed to St Elizabeth’s Hospital on Malabar Hill initially, and later transferred to GT Hospital, where she died on Tuesday morning.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is responsible for trimming and pruning trees in public spaces across the city, said the tree was located inside the premises of Kavale Math, a cultural organisation.

Around 7pm, Sukhi was walking past the Math and was right under the tree when the branch fell from a height of 20 to 22 feet, officials said. A resident of Banganga, she lived with her brother and sister in Chhatri Niwas building.

“The tree has thick foliage and the branch that fell was spread over the lane next to the property. It could have been trimmed, but we have not got any application for permission to trim the tree from the organisation,” said an official from the BMC’s garden department, who did not wish to be named.

The official added that the BMC had written to the Math asking it to trim the 10-12 trees in its premises in November 2017, but the Math had not done anything, and no action was taken against it.

The manager of Kavale Math was unavailable for comment.

Officials at Malabar Hill police station said they have registered a case of accidental death and are investigating whether the accident was a result of negligence. “We will find out whether the tree needed trimming,” said an official, who did not wish to be named.

First Published: May 29, 2018 11:00 IST