By Franz Jonathan de la Fuente
“Kahoy! Kahoy!” was all the on looking guard could exclaim moments before a tree broke off from its trunk and crashed on two passersby just hours ago.
A male and a female student, both unidentified, were injured as a tree fronting Benton Hall in U.P. Diliman collapsed 11:15 a.m. today, blocking two lanes of Roxas Ave. in the process.
Benton Hall is situated on Roxas Ave. corner Fernandez Street. It houses the Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment, the U.P. Gender Office, and the Center for International Studies.
The tree is suspected to have considerably weakened due to termites and Typhoon Basyang, which hit Metro Manila at signal # 2 strength Tuesday evening, said security guard Lorenzo Lumagod.
The plant box on which the tree was located had also cracked.
Lumagod, a roving guard assigned to the area, said the two students panicked and the male victim in a navy blue striped polo shirt was directly hit by the tree.
“Naglalakad kami papuntang CASAA (College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association, a cafeteria), at noong nasa may harap na kami ng PHAn (Palma Hall Annex), biglang bumagsak yung puno,” said Kirstin Jello Bernabe, a journalism senior who witnessed the incident with her friends.
Fracture but no bone doc
Bernabe said the victims were picked up by a black car which sped to the nearby U.P. Health Service.
The male victim suffered a leg fracture to his right knee, swelling his leg to thrice its normal size, said Dr. Hector Dionisio, the physician on duty at the Health Service emergency room.
The victim was rushed to the East Avenue Medical Center because the Health Service did not have an orthopedic doctor on call.
“Right now walang ambulance para dalhin yung victim sa hospital, good thing may private vehicle na nagdala,” said Dionisio.
As of press time Campus Maintenance Office staff have partially cleared the tree, said Lumagod, and two guards have been stationed on Roxas Ave. to direct traffic around the fallen tree.
With reporting by Monica Joy Cantilero and Alexandra Gabrielle Francisco
Photos to follow shortly.