May 21 2013 Latest news:
Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
A home cleaner was within a minute of being crushed by an 80ft tree that has cost tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage after falling on a South Woodford home.
Krishna Kunwar had just left a play room in the house in The Drive last Thursday at around 3pm when a 150-year-old tree from a neighbouring property smashed through its roof.
The tree, which is still to be removed, caused the play room’s roof to collapse and destroyed a shed in the garden.
It left the house’s owner Rita Kumar, 41, horrified because her 12-year-old son Aaryan could have been at home.
Mr Kunwar, who speaks very little English, works at the home as a cook and cleaner and described the sound of the tree coming down as like a “plane crashing”.
Mrs Kumar said: “A minute earlier and he would have died.
“It was horrifying.
“I thought ‘what if someone was in the garden’, primarily my son.
“He’s had his toys in that room for years, he could have had friends round.
“Boys are always in the garden if it’s dry.
“You don’t want to think about it.”
The play room and an adjoining room with an indoor swimming pool are separate from the rest of the property and border a fence with the neighbouring home.
Mr Kunwar had moved into the swimming pool room just before the tree fell.
It also hit that room’s roof and has caused a permanent leak when it rains.
Mrs Kumar and her son were out when it collapsed.
She said: “The play room is destroyed.
“Once the tree is removed, it will have a big gaping hole in the roof.
“It’s going to run into tens of thousands of pounds of damage.”
She said it was raining and windy on Thursday but the tree had survived worse conditions in the past.
It was a “steady companion” to her family since they moved into the home in 1979, she said.
The tree is due to be removed after the damage has been assessed by insurers.