Lucky escape as tree falls on park bench

Near miss: Coalisland canal bench

Near miss: Coalisland canal bench

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Tragedy was narrowly averted along the Coalisland Canal last week when a heavy tree fell on a park bench.

The bench, which is often used by walkers along the scenic waterway, almost disappeared under the huge pile of leaves and branches, but fortunately no one was injured.

The incident has sparked concerns among those who use the canal walkway, especially given the stormy weather that has been hitting the area.

County Tyrone was severely affected by gales at the end of last week, causing power shortages to hundreds of homes.

Coalisland naturalist Plunkett Scullion has warned of the dangers posed by a number of overhanging trees along the popular walkway.

“There are a number of trees about to fall over at the Moor Bridge, and the Rivers Agency should do something about it before someone is seriously injured or killed.

“If anyone had been sitting on this park bench, they would have killed outright.

“Now it’s going to cost money to fix the seat. All this could have been prevented if the problem had been tackled by the relevant authorities.”

Mr Scullion also called on Dungannon Council to do more to ensure the safety of canal users.