Preschooler ran for his life as giant tree toppled onto Epsom daycare centre playground topples on playground

Joao Dias, 3, and mum Lorena Oliveira.  Photo / Supplied
Joao Dias, 3, and mum Lorena Oliveira. Photo / Supplied

A little boy has described the terrifying moment a giant tree crashed down on to his friends at an Auckland daycare centre playground.

Two children remain in hospital after being struck by a Jacaranda tree which toppled over in blustery winds at Discoveries Educare in Epsom yesterday afternoon.

The centre is closed today as investigators look at what led to the sudden uprooting of the tree and the horrific aftermath.

Four pre-schoolers struck by branches were rushed to hospital.

Two were treated at the emergency department and went home. The most seriously injured children were admitted overnight.

A spokesman said the pair, one who was initially critical, were both in a stable condition in Starship Hospital.

Last night the emergency department at the city's children hospital was filled with concerned parents and their pre-school children for precautionary checks after the horror outdoor accident.

An upturned tree at the Discoveries Educare facility on Gilles Ave, Epsom yesterday. Photo / Cherie Howie
An upturned tree at the Discoveries Educare facility on Gilles Ave, Epsom yesterday. Photo / Cherie Howie

Lorena Oliveira said her son Joao Dias was one of the 25 children in the centre's yard playing at the time.

The three-year-old made a loud noise as he described the moment the tree suddenly crashed down across the playground where he was playing with his friends.

"I was running away," he said.

"My friend got hurt on their eyes."

Today his relieved mum said all parents and teachers had been left in shock.

"My son has been at the centre for three years and it's a really good school.

"I feel really, really sorry for the other families that have a kid injured."

She said her son had not been left too shaken from the ordeal as he had fled to safety and ushered inside by his teachers straight away.

"He's not really scared because he ran away and the teachers took him to the centre."

Oliveira was today praying for those injured in the nightmare accident.

"Nothing like this has ever happened so it's really a shame that this has happened now. "

WorkSafe today were investigating the incident.

A spokesman said they were unable to provide any further information while an investigation was underway.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 04 Dec 2016 20:30:14 Processing Time: 764ms