Disaster in Belgian Market Square as Falling Christmas Tree Kills Woman

It was a sad Christmas period for a family as a woman was killed and two people were injured by a large Christmas tree that fell over in the Belgian city of Oudenaarde on Thursday evening, authorities said on Friday.

Security camera footage on Belgian news media showed a brightly lit 20-metre (65.62 ft) high Christmas tree slowly leaning over, then collapsing next to a Christmas market as a merry-go-round spun on the historic town square.

A spokesman for the Oost-Vlaanderen province prosecutor said the victim was a 63-year-old woman from Oudenaarde.

Two women from the same town were lightly injured in the incident.

“The investigation will focus on whether the tree had been properly secured and will also look at the impact of the weather,” he said.

Storm Pia, which has disrupted traffic in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands on Thursday, hit western Belgium on Thursday and the weather service had issued a yellow code warning for the coastal areas.