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Falling tree crushes house

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Samuel Callender looks at the ruins after a silk cotton tree fell and destroyed his home off Picton Road, Laventille, yesterday. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE

A 62-year-old woman is warded at the Port-of-Spain General hospital in a critical condition after a silk cotton tree fell on her home, in Picton Road, Laventille, around 1 am yesterday, demolishing half her home and leaving her neighbour and his seven children homeless.



Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday near the shambles that was once his six-bedroom, two-storey house, Samuel Callender said his neighbour Agatha James had lived at her house for the past 40 years with her husband Aldric and their daughter Deborah. He said neighbours told him around 1 am the tree fell while James was asleep, and while his house took the brunt of the weight of the tree, it crashed through the roof of the couple’s bedroom, injuring James. 


Callender, who said he stopped sleeping at his Picton Road home about two weeks ago, after he heard the tree cracking, said he had warned his neighbours that the tree was showing signs it was no longer sturdy in 2010, after one of its branches fell during the night. Since hearing the cracking recently, he became more cautious, sleeping at his in-laws and returning in daylight for whatever he needed. 


Half his home was destroyed in 2010, he said, but he rebuilt it with the aid of Self Help, through the Ministry of the People. Callender said he had made several attempts to get the tree cut down but each time he was told that there was no equipment to do so. He lamented that there would be equipment now to remove the tree. Estimating the loss he suffered to be $100,000, he said he would now have to move into his mother-in-law’s home until better could be done.