A 20-year-old woman was killed when a falling palm tree struck her on the head as she walked down a bustling Barcelona street.
The victim was strolling down Joaquim Costa Street, which is popular with locals and tourists alike for its shops and bars, in Barcelona’s Old City when the accident happened.
According to reports, a palm tree in Emili Vendrell Square, which is backed on one side by Joaquim Costa Street, snapped for reasons unknown just before 4pm on 3rd August.
The top part of the tree fell several metres and struck the young woman on the head as she stood on the pavement.
A street sweeper vehicle was also hit by the falling palm.
The woman died almost instantly, reports said.
Urban Guards and firefighters arrived on the scene within five minutes to try to save the victim.
However, Joan Carles Cejalvo of the Barcelona Fire Department reported: “Our paramedic was the first to assess the victim and immediately determined that the impact was incompatible with life.”
Officers then cordoned off the area to prevent further accidents.
A police investigation into the incident has been opened.
Barcelona’s mayor, Jaume Collboni, stated on social media: “I want to express my condolences to the family and friends of the 20-year-old woman who lost her life today due to the falling of a palm tree in the Raval neighbourhood, in Ciutat Vella.
“And I want to thank the actions of the emergency services that responded to the scene of this tragic accident.”
It is not clear what caused the palm to snap, but one netizen speculated: “The palm trees in Barcelona are not healthy. They are heavily infested, and some are hollow inside, posing a danger of falling.
“Instead of undertaking absurd street remodelling projects based on someone’s whim, why not remove the palm trees and replace them with trees that can truly thrive in the environment?”