Trees on Anxi and Anhua Lu, photo by mintming
UPDATE: We’ve learned that the foreigner that narrowly missed being crushed by a 90-year-old tree Indiana Jones-style was none other than a member of the SmartShanghai crew! Phew – nice save, and please show us your “great gesture” sometime!
So here’s why you see people pruning trees all over Luwan and the French Concession: if they get too top heavy, their rotten roots aren’t strong enough to support them. A lucky “foreigner” and several unlucky drivers (including the owner of a BMW) learned this over the weekend, when an elm tree, buffeted by the heavy winds currently blowing through our city, fell onto the road on Anhua Lu in Changning District.
There to witness the tree’s collapse: several bystanders and one narrowly crushed “foreigner riding a moped.” According to Shanghai Daily:
The foreign man was driving a moped as a large elm tree fell over on Anhua Road in Changning District, but he accelerated just enough to get under the tree before getting crushed, a witness said.
“I gestured toward the foreigner that he was great, and he returned the gesture,” said the witness surnamed Zhao.
If someone had taken a video (or there are surveillance cameras on Anhua Lu), this foreigner could be the new “Brother Near Miss”, in the vein of Brother Tricycle, Brother Running and Brother Train. We’ll wait and see if he somehow makes it onto the Chinese internet.
The tree did manage to fall on some parked cars though, crushing a Santana, a small truck and a BMW. The BMW bore the brunt of the fall, with the tree smashing through the back window and deflating its rear two tires.