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S’porean Wearing Noise-Cancelling Earbuds While Running In Park Killed By Falling Tree


Source: Straits Times & Straits Times

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A 38-year-old Singaporean woman died after a tree fell on her in Marsiling Park on 18 February.

According to the Straits Times, the Singapore Civil Defence Force said they were notified of the incident at about 8.15am and found a person trapped under a fallen tree. They tried to free the woman by using cutting equipment, but it was too late by then and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Photo 2021 02 18 11 40 17

Commissioner of parks and recreation at NParks, Dr Leong Chee Chiew, said the tree was a 20m-tall Araucaria excelsa tree with a girth of 1.3m. He said it was a healthy 20-year-old tree that was last inspected in April 2020. Its next inspection was due in October, he added.

“We are sad that there was one fatality. Our priority now is to accord assistance to the family of the deceased,” he said.

Eyewitnesses in the area said they heard a loud crack before the tree fell onto Loke. At that time, 10 people at the park tried to lift the tree but were unsuccessful.

“We were walking across the bridge (over the lake) and heard a loud crack and a splash. A tall tree fell and we ran over to help a woman who was stuck underneath it,” one of them.

Photo 2021 02 18 12 12 46 Nmtree


Wearing noise cancelling earbuds

According to another report by the Straits Times, the victim was said to be wearing noise cancelling earbuds and listening to music while running.

The victim’s sister said that if she wasn’t wearing the earbuds during her run, she might have heard the cracking sound of the tree falling and would have escaped in time.


However, some netizens are saying that the victim shouldn’t be blamed as she might have just been at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • “Hello stop blaming the ear buds. It’s an unfortunate event being in wrong place at the wrong time. Even if can hear the crack, would u be able to know which exact tree is falling and move away in time? People thinking can easily react like super powers.”
  • “Personally I don’t think the earphones played a part in this freak accident. The big tree was on top of a slope and you won’t see it coming until it’s too late.”
  • “Ohhh, so it’s the noise cancelling earbud fault, go sue them. Sorry about that, the tree saw a pretty lady jogging and wanted to say “I’m falling for you” but she didn’t hear it. “

Meanwhile, other netizens commented that noise cancelling earbuds can be very dangerous in situations like this.

  • “We rely on sight, sound, and smell to alert us of the danger. Some people were able to escape from the falling trees in time, because they were alerted first by the sound.”
  • “In general though noise cancelling or isolating hearing devices can be dangerous. Just being less aware of the environment does not sound like a good idea. E.g – it may be difficult to hear the horn of an approaching vehicle.”
  • “Ear phone seriously can’t wear both side, I always advise my friends to wear 1 side only, the reason was to listen to surrounding noise, maybe a speeding e-scooter horned, maybe the footstep of a molester is nearing, maybe someone was shouting for people to evacuate due to some danger around? Just leave 1 ear free to listen to dangers that might be just around.”

What do you think about this? Can noise cancelling earbuds/earphones put you in danger, especially when you’re in public? Let us know in the comments below!


Also read: Tg Pagar Crash: Security Firm Apologises For Posting Insensitive Video Showing Victim In Distress


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