Home South African Fence spike pierces man’s chest after fall while cutting palm tree

Fence spike pierces man’s chest after fall while cutting palm tree

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Staying out of the range of falling fronds is why palm trees are preferably cut from above rather than from the ground

In this Feb. 24, 2011 file photo in a man is attaching traditional Palestinian scarf, or keffiyeh, onto an artificial palm tree in Warsaw, Poland. The date palm has become one of the city’s artistic symbols but recently its green leaves were changed to dead, grey ones in a stunt that draws attention to climate change. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

CAPE TOWN – Experts advise using a bucket truck or other aerial device with fall protection equipment while trimming palm trees.

Staying out of the range of falling fronds is why palm trees are preferably cut from above rather than from the ground.

A 30-year-old Cape Town man was probably aware of the latter advice, but clearly did not have fall protection when cutting a palm tree at the 16-hectare Intaka Island nature reserve at Century City, which boasts 125 species of bird and 170 different species of plant.

He sustained critical injuries after falling on to a fence spike while trimming the palm tree on Tuesday afternoon.

ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell said paramedics arrived on the scene at 2.20pm along with Lima Charlie One.

’’The man had been brought across from the island on a boat by local security and fellow workers to where our medics could gain access to him.

’’The spike, which had pierced his chest and broken off, had been removed and the patient required advanced life support interventions to try to stabilise him.

’’He was then rushed to a private hospital in the area for further care,” Campbell said.

The circumstances that led to the fall are not known yet, said Campbell.

In October 2018, a 29-year-old man was critically injured after falling about six metres from a tree on to a palisade fence at his Valhalla, Pretoria, home while gardening.

The man had to freed from the fence by the Tshwane Fire Department and was thereafter stabilised and transported by ER24 to hospital.