Flemington Racecourse: Woman critically injured by falling branch

A woman is fighting for life and four others have been injured in a freak incident at Flemington Racecourse.

A woman is fighting for life after being hit by a falling tree branch at Flemington Racecourse and four others have been injured.

The woman aged in her 30s was critically injured when a large branch fell on her just before 6.30pm on Saturday, an Ambulance Victoria spokesman said.

She was taken in a critical condition to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Four others were also injured, with three of them taken to hospital in a serious condition.

Bookmaker Jonathan Walsh said it “sounded like a gunshot”.

“Patrons came from everywhere to help the injured,” he tweeted.

Horse owner Scott Harty said he heard a loud thud then saw people running.

“Was so loud, I thought a temporary grandstand or something had fallen down and then looked over and saw the tree and everyone running,” he tweeted.

The injured included a woman in her 60s who suffered upper body injuries and was taken in a serious but stable condition to St Vincent’s Hospital.

Another woman in her 70s was taken to The Alfred Hospital in a serious but stable condition for upper body injuries.

A man in 60s was also taken to the Alfred Hospital for upper body injuries, also in a serious but stable condition.

Meanwhile, a man in his 40s was treated at the scene.

The patrons were injured at the end of the Australian Guineas Race Day when a branch fell from a gum tree in the taxi rank area outside the racecourse, the Victorian Racing Club said.

First aid was given within two minutes of the incident, ahead of emergency services arriving, the club said.

“Our priority remains those injured and their families,” the VRC said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

“The Victoria Racing Club has reached out to the families of those injured yesterday to convey our support and offer our ongoing assistance.”

WorkSafe attended the site on Saturday night for an initial assessment and will conduct a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of the incident.

The VRC said it would fully assist the investigation.

“The VRC would like to acknowledge the emergency services for their assistance yesterday, and also sincerely thank the first aid responders, a number of VRC staff, venue contractors and members of the public that acted quickly to assist the injured in the immediate aftermath of the incident, demonstrating incredible kindness,” the club said.

Originally published as Woman critical, four injured by tree branch at Flemington Racecourse

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