At least seven people were injured Saturday in the collapse of a large banyan tree branch in Honolulu’s Waikiki neighborhood, on the south shore of the island of Oʻahu in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The branch fell near the Hilton hotel’s pool. The accident occurred in the heart of the popular tourist district. A witness in the area said the crashing branch sounded like a “jet engine firing up.” Honolulu Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene around 12:15 p.m. People suffered multiple injuries included those with serious head injuries and multiple cuts. Some of them, in a serious condition, were transported to a nearby hospital. The banyan reaches a height up to 100 feet (30 meters) and spreads laterally indefinitely.
Hilton Hawaiian Village said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with those who have been affected and their families. Our hotel team along with several guests responded immediately and the proper authorities were contacted. The wellbeing, safety and security of our guests and team members are of paramount importance.” Waikiki is most famous for Waikiki Beach. Half of the beach is marked off for surfers. The surf is known for its long rolling break, making it ideal for long boarding, tandem surfing and beginners. From the beach the sunset in the sea is visible from mid-September to late March. The beach hosts many events, including surf competitions, outdoor performances, hula dancing and outrigger canoe races.