One person was killed and five others were injured after a large tree fell on top of a wedding party at a Southern California park on Saturday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Multiple people were trapped after a tree toppled over around 4:30 p.m. in Whittier's Penn Park, fire officials said.
"I heard the crackling and I'm looking up and it was just an odd sound," witness Mary Escarga told NBC4.
A wedding party was taking pictures after the ceremony when a 100-foot tall eucalyptus tree fell, trapping up to 20 people, the fire department said. Chainsaws were used to remove those who were trapped underneath the tree's branches.
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One person was killed and five people, including a young girl, were injured. The five people who were injured suffered minor and moderate injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment. They are expected to recover.
"The scene was very chaotic," said Sgt. Jason Zuhlke of the Whittier Police Department.
Rene Zaldivar, who was at the park for a quinceañera, said he saw the bride during the chaos.
"She was limping a little bit, but she was screaming about her mom – they couldn’t wake her up."
A search dog was brought in to search for additional victims who could still be trapped.
"Fortunately, there weren't more people injured by the tree collapse," John Tripp, a Los Angeles County Fire Department deputy chief, said at a news conference. "It could have been a lot worse."
The wedding party was taken to a nearby senior center where mental health counselors were made available to them.
Officials could not confirm that the heavy rains reported Friday evening played a factor in the tree collapse.
Arborists are expected to investigate why the tree fell.
The identity of the person who was killed has not yet been released.