Botanic Gardens tree incident: Family of victim asks for 'privacy' in official statement

SINGAPORE - The family of Radhika Angara, the Indian national who lost her life after a tree at the Botanic Gardens fell on her, has broken their silence and released a statement on the matter.

In a statement to the press, Ms Angara's sister and brother-in-law thanked members of the public in Singapore for their concern and also requested for 'privacy and time' to mourn their loss.

They were also speaking for the family of Ms Angara's French national husband, Jerome Rouch-Sirech, 39.

Below is the family's statement reproduced in full:

On behalf of the Rouch-Sirech and Angara families, we would like to sincerely thank everyone in Singapore for the outpouring of sympathy and concern following Radhika's passing. We have been overwhelmed by all the support offered over the past few days as we try and come to terms with this tragedy.

As Radhika's sister and brother-in-law, and citizens of Singapore, we were the ones who encouraged Jerome and Radhika to come to Singapore and make a life here - a life they had just embarked on with their young children, and one we very much hope they will be able to continue building in this vibrant country.

Our priority remains ensuring Jerome and the children have all the help and comfort we can possibly provide at this time. We therefore kindly request, as a family, for the privacy and time that we need to mourn the loss of our beloved Radhika.


Aarti Angara and Avinash Abraham on behalf of the Rouch-Sirech and Angara families

Prior to their statement, the victim's family members had declined to speak to the media when The Straits Times visited them at the funeral parlour.

Singaporeans as well as Ms Angara's colleagues have expressed sympathy since the incident took place.

Her former boss at Fastacash, chief executive officer Mark Carter, called her an "inspirational leader who garnered huge respect from all who knew her." Ms Angara's most recent role was as Asia-Pacific region lead for digital marketing at MasterCard.

Senior vice-president of communications for Asia-Pacific at MasterCard Georgette Tan told The Straits Times that Ms Angara was "a highly talented professional, a rising star in her field and a valued member" of the Asia-Pacific marketing and communications team.

Ms Angara, 38, leaves behind her husband and their two children, aged one, who were all injured during the incident as well.

The 40m-tall Tembusu tree that fell was last inspected in September 2016 and was found to be healthy, The Straits Times reported. The family were said to be having a picnic when tragedy struck.

Huge Tembusu tree falls at Botanic Gardens

  • A huge Tembusu tree fell at the Singapore Botanic Gardens at about 4.30pm on Saturday (Feb 11).
  • Five people were injured, including two children.
  • They have been sent to the National University Hospital in three ambulances, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
  • According to the National Parks Board (NParks), the tree had fallen near the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage.
  • NParks told The Straits Times that it is focusing on clearing up the site.
  • A concert scheduled for the evening has been cancelled, Facebook user Nutan Shah posted on the social network.
  • The concert, called "Canada 150: Celebrating Diversity through Music and Film", was supposed to take place at the stage from 5pm to 7pm.
  • Manager Mr Zhou, 49, arrived at the site several minutes after the tree fell. He said that the injured woman looked to be Indian and that rescue efforts were "pretty fast."
  • In a Facebook statement, police advise members of the public to stay away from the site to facilitate the rescue work by the Singapore Police Force and the SCDF.