A New Zealand woman was crushed to death by a falling branch
at London's Kew Gardens as wild weather pounded the region,
prompting the gardens to close its gates.
The woman, who was believed to living in the city, died about
2.10pm on Sunday (Local time) as she walked through the
botanic gardens in southwest London.
Gary Baker, who was walking nearby when the woman was
crushed, told the Daily Mail newspaper that the branch came
crashing down from an 18-metre tree along a footpath leading
to a restaurant in the gardens in southwest London.
"There was a bang and I jumped around at what sounded like
three or four gunshots," he said.
When he turned around he saw the woman face-down on the
ground with a thick branch beside her.
"I didn't see it hit the woman but it was quite clear she was
badly hurt. Someone shouted call an ambulance as she lay face
down on the ground."
He helped give her CPR but she could not be revived.
A London Metropolitan police spokesman told APNZ that the
woman, believed to be in her 30s, was pronounced dead at the
The death had been referred to the coroner, who would then
release her name.
The UK's Health and Safety Executive - which looks into
workplace accidents - would "probably" look at it, he said.
There was nothing criminal or suspicious about the death, he
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed that it
was aware of the death of a New Zealander in London and the
ministry was providing consular advice and support to her
There was bad weather on Sunday, with winds reaching up
50km/h, it was reported.
Early on Monday morning (local time) Kew Gardens said it
would not be opening for the day.
The Met Office issued a severe weather warning for London and
the southeast predicting heavy rain and winds gusting up to
"As a precaution, Kew Gardens will not be open to the public
today. We apologies for any inconvenience or disappointment
this may cause," it said on its website.