She was young, energetic and inspirational, and known to exude warmth. Mummy to 1-year-old twins, she also had a rich, fulfilling career. On Saturday, her happy life was cut short by a cruel twist of fate; a 40m tall tembusu tree came crashing down on 38-year-old Radhika Angara, at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Her French husband, Mr Jerome Rouch-Sirech, 39, and their two children were also injured in the accident, as was a 26-year-old Singaporean lady, Ms. Tay Pei Lei.
According to The New Paper, the accident took place at about 4:30 pm. The huge tree fell near the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage at Lawn W, along Upper Palm Valley Road. It also brought down surrounding palm trees as it fell.
The tree was a heritage tree, and more than 270 years old! According to NParks, as a Singapore Botanic Gardens heritage tree, the tree was inspected twice a year, more than the other trees in the garden. Ironic and tragic then, that this accident happened.
Channel NewsAsia quotes NParks as, “The tree was also protected by a lightning conductor and fenced off to prevent compaction of its root zone by visitors. Leaf litter is routinely applied to the root zone to encourage healthy root growth.”
PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE
The immediate assumption by tree experts and public alike, is that the recent heavy rains and bad weather may have been to blame. It may have resulted in water-logging, and loosening of the surrounding soil, and of the roots rotting. Strong winds may have further worsened matters.
Investigations are being carried out by NParks. Meanwhile, all injured in the accident have since been discharged from the National University Hospital (NUH).
According to The Straits Times, Radhika was regional digital marketing head for the Asia-Pacific at MasterCard. Previously, she was chief marketing and strategy officer at global social and mobile payment platform Fastacash.
Her tragic demise has come as a huge shock to her friends and colleagues.
Senior vice-president of communications for Asia-Pacific at MasterCard, Georgette Tan, has been quoted as saying, “(Radhika was) a highly talented professional, a rising star in her field and a valued member (of the team). She had an energy and warmth that won her the respect of her peers and managers alike. She will be deeply missed.”
Fastacash CEO Mark Carter has expressed his condolences too, “Radhika was a pivotal member of the Fastacash management team and an inspirational leader who garnered huge respect from all whom knew her. She was always there to support colleagues through the Fastacash journey and will be deeply missed. Our condolences and deepest sympathies go to her family at this sad time.”
Our heart bleeds for the little babies who have just lost their mummy. We hope and pray that this family finds strength to deal with their loss.
Humans think they rule the earth and have made rapid advances in science and technology, but ultimately we are still at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Also READ: Young mum dies in fire in Singapore!
(Source: The Straits Times, Channel News Asia, The New Paper)
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