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Woman killed, two injured after Christmas tree falls at Stormpier market

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A 63-year-old woman was killed and two others injured after a giant Christmas tree collapsed in Storm Pier.

Security camera footage showed a brightly lit 65-foot-tall tree slowly leaning and falling next to a Christmas market in the Belgian city of Oudenaarde. The tragedy occurred at around 7pm on Thursday night in the historic town square.

Storm Pier hit western Belgium on Thursday, causing travel disruption in the UK as flights and trains were canceled due to 80mph winds.

A 65-foot Christmas tree has collapsed next to the Christmas market in the historic town square.

(Cohen Goderis)

The Christmas tree has now been removed from the festival market as local police launch an investigation into the circumstances of the incident.

According to local Belgian media, the Christmas tree already had stability issues and was bent so authorities had to fix it.

Marnique de Meurmeester, Mayor of Oudenaarde, said: VRT News: “Out of consideration for our families, we have decided to permanently close our Christmas Market and Winter Village.

“The tree was strong, but we had unexpectedly very heavy rain, with localized gusts of force 6. As a result, the tree was stuck near a Christmas market where a lot of people had gathered. I fell down.”

Authorities are cleaning up the crime scene.

(vrt news)

Witnesses told local media that the city’s technical services were alerted 10 minutes before the tree fell, as the tree could be seen swaying in the wind.

“A tree fell. We saw three people under the tree. 20 people helped lift the tree to rescue people from under the tree,” the witness added.

A spokesperson for the Oost-Vlaanderen state prosecutor said the victim was a 63-year-old woman from Oudenaarde. Two women in the town suffered minor injuries in the incident.

“The investigation will focus on whether the tree was properly secured and will also look at the effects of weather,” he said.

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