Baby boy of mother killed by falling tree ‘no longer in critical condition’

Infant remains in neonatal intensive care unit of Queen Mary Hospital

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 6:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 August, 2014, 11:25am

The condition of a baby boy, born by emergency caesarean section after his mother was fatally injured by a falling tree, has improved from critical to serious almost two weeks after the incident.

The infant remains in the neonatal intensive care unit of Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam, a government spokesman said.

On August 14, a tree crashed down a private slope in Mid-Levels and killed Zhang Qin, who was 37 and heavily pregnant at the time.

Zhang was waiting outside the 11-storey Palm Court on Robinson Road for a minibus when the 10-metre-tall Indian rubber tree fell on her shortly after 2.30pm.

The victim’s baby was delivered by emergency caesarean section and has remained in hospital since then.

The tragedy highlighted the absence of a single law to govern the maintenance of trees. Experts have pointed out that, at present, trees in the countryside and urban areas are protected by various ordinances.

“The government can not delay over the [proposed law] . It cannot be so shortsighted,” Ken So Kwok-yin, chief executive of the Conservancy Association, said on Wednesday.

Dr Lawrence Chau, head of the Tree Management Office, which is under the Development Bureau, reportedly told the Central and Western District Council last week in a meeting that the office is “cautious” and “open-minded” about a single law to govern tree maintenance.

“This is actually different from what I have observed in the past. In the past, government officials would immediately deny there is a need for the law,” So said.

Barrister Albert Luk said earlier that the management company, tree surgeon or contractor hired to manage the tree that fell could be sued for damage by the victim’s family.

The Post had earlier revealed that Hang Yick Properties Management, a subsidiary of Henderson Land Development, manages Palm Court in Robinson Road where the falling tree killed Zhou.

A Hang Yick Properties Management spokesman declined to comment on the matter on Wednesday, saying that the police have launched an investigation into the case.