2 Children Injured When Tree Falls Onto Playground

SANTA CRUZ (BCN) — Two children were hurt Thursday when high winds caused a Cypress tree to fall onto a playground as students waited for classes to start at a school in Santa Cruz, a police official said.

At 8:20 a.m., Santa Cruz police, fire and paramedics responded to a report of a downed tree with a student trapped underneath at Gateway School at 126 Eucalyptus Ave., police Deputy Chief Steve Clark said.

The tree had snapped and came crashing down onto a picnic table where students were congregating before school, Clark said.

An 11-year-old boy became trapped as the tree, between 60 to 80 feet long with a trunk about two feet around, pinned his shoulder and arm, Clark said.

Crews from the Santa Cruz Fire Department used heavy equipment to stabilize the trunk of the tree and then employed chainsaws to cut parts of the tree away from the trapped boy, according to Clark.

The child was transported to Dominican Hospital with injuries that aren’t considered life-threatening, Clark said.

An 11-year-old girl was struck by branches when the tree fell and was treated at the scene for minor injuries and then released to her parents, according to police.

School officials assisted in the response to the incident and closed the school for the remainder of the day to permit students to be reunited with their parents, Clark said.

Santa Cruz city spokesman Keith Sterling said the boy was trapped for about 15 minutes before firefighters were able to free him.

(Copyright 2014, Bay City News, All rights reserved.)

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