A huge sequoia collapsed and killed a man who visited Muir Woods National Park in California on Christmas Eve, authorities said on Thursday.
Subharadeep Dutta, 28, from Edina, Minnesota, died while walking on a path with two more people in the park north of San Francisco famous for its imposing conifers, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.
The tree trunk almost 61 meters (200 feet) high hit Dutta, who was pronounced dead on the scene at 5:01 p.m. The trunk had a diameter of more than 1.22 meters (4 feet).
A woman injured by the branches that fell was taken to the hospital to be treated. A man practising mountaineering with the group escaped the injuries.
The tree collapsed after a series of winter storms of the last two weeks.
“It is a very unusual and isolated event that may have occurred due to the terrain wetted by recent winter storms, around the roots of the tree,” park spokesman Charles Strickfaden said in an email.
“The National Park Service offers its solidarity and prayers to all involved,” he wrote.
Almost a million people visit the park every year. On Thursday it remained open and only the areas affected by the debris from the fallen tree remained closed to visitors.