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Large tree branch falls on family at San Antonio Zoo, hospitalizing seven people

San Antonio Zoo tree branch
Posted at 10:39 AM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 13:19:00-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It took just a matter of moments for a sunny day at the zoo to turn into terror after officials say a huge tree branch unexpectedly broke, fell and hit a group of people.

A video captured a terrifying moment when a massive tree branch fell on a family at the San Antonio Zoo on Wednesday afternoon.

Seven people were then sent to a San Antonio hospital, five of them children, with one child still in critical condition.

Among the victims, the Rodriguez family was banged up and bruised pretty badly. The family took to social media and stated their youngest daughter, Jordyn, was badly hurt as she is still in ICU.

Video shows a crowd of people frantically trying to lift the large tree branch and free those who were trapped under the debris.

One terrified witness recorded the ordeal on their cell phone just after midday and was heard shouting: "I can't believe we saw that, there are people in there!"

Zoo officials say they are investigating the cause of the breakage to prevent, "this unusual event from happening again."

Tim Morrow, the president and CEO of San Antonio Zoo, issued a statement on Facebook about Wednesday's incident:

“On Wednesday, a large tree branch unexpectedly broke and fell at San Antonio Zoo, injuring several guests. Zoo first responders and local emergency crews were on site within minutes to treat those who were injured. We are working with our internal and external teams to investigate the cause of the breakage to prevent this unusual event from happening again.

The safety of our guests, staff, and animals is always our highest priority. Our gratitude is with the guests, staff, and first responders who assisted during this incident, and our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to those injured and their families, as well as those who witnessed this accident.”
Tim Morrow, CEO, San Antonio Zoo

Officials said on Thursday morning that the zoo will return to operating as normal.