Arborist Examines Fallen Tree at Children's Museum That Injured Nine Children

An arborist on Wednesday examined a tree that came crashing down outside a children's museum in Pasadena the day before, injuring at least nine children, but there was no word on what may have caused the tree to topple.

Witnesses said there was "no warning" when the 75-foot pine tree snapped and fell to the ground in Brookside Park outside Kidspace Children's Museum.

Thirty-three campers, between the ages of five and seven years old, enrolled in the museum's summer program were sent running in every direction when the tree fell.

One of two children who were critically injured was upgraded to serious condition. At least seven others suffered minor injuries.

Many staff members arriving for an employee meeting at Kidspace were on the grounds during the incident. The museum's CEO Michael Shanklin requested an incident report from each of them, asking them to descibe exactly what they saw.

Crisis counselors greeted arriving day-campers Wednesday morning, many of which expressed their anxiety about the traumatic event the day before.

Kihon Kwon's 7-year old son said he was having trouble sleeping.

"He's kind of having a shock, like last night and he keeps saying the tree was falling, he couldn't sleep really well," Kwon said.

Officials from the City of Pasadena Public Works Department Forestry Division were also on the museum's grounds Wednesday, taking measurements and examining the fallen tree.

Shanklin expressed his surprise and concern about the tree to a group of reporters during a news conference Wednesday.

"I'm not an arborist but I've walked by that tree for four years and I've never seen any concerns with it," he said.

He also said the city regularly maintained the trees on the grounds and sent an arborist to examine them at least four times a year.

The incident remains under investigation.

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