Massive Tree Branch Traps Woman, Injures Another On National Mall


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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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A large branch snapped off a tree on the National Mall Sunday, pinning a woman underneath and shattering the windshield of a passing car.

A crowd of roughly 30 to 40 onlookers rushed to the assistance of the woman trapped beneath the massive branch shortly after 3 p.m.. The crowd eventually freed the woman, who sustained minor injuries. D.C. Fire and EMS  took the woman and another injured individual by the falling branch to George Washington University hospital to be treated, reports Fox 5.

The tree branch fell on Constitution Avenue near the entrance of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

“When I saw that tree fall, I thought for sure someone was probably killed,” Kristina Thielen, a witness, told Fox 5. “It was chaotic because everyone started screaming and just running in two separate directions.”

Initially the crowd dispersed, running from the falling branch. After realizing a woman was underneath onlookers jumped into action to try and lift the branch. Witnesses said the enormous branch was difficult to move and it took several attempts to free the woman trapped beneath. Crews worked for several hours to clear the roadway of debris and did not open the road back up until 9 p.m., reports NBC Washington.

“It’s just amazing no one seriously got hurt,” Thielen told Fox 5. “It’s such a huge thing and the way it fell. I’m just grateful.”

A man driving to the airport said he heard the snap of the tree branch above him but could not move his vehicle in time. It shattered the windshield of his car, but he managed to escape from the ordeal uninjured. His car later had to be towed away from the scene.

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