A BARNSLEY woman was hit by a falling banana tree in Sheffield’s Winter Garden prompting an investigation.

Laura Exley, 19, a student at the University of Sheffield, was walking through the indoor gardens, off Surrey Street in the city centre, with friends when she was struck by the nine-foot tree as it fell into the footway.

According to a spokesperson for Sheffield City Council, this is the first time a plant has fallen in this way and injured a passer-by.

“If it’d been a small child it could have been a lot worse,” said mum Liz, 51, of Mount Vernon Road.

“She was very lucky, most of the damage was done to her leg and just shock from it knocking her to the ground. There are some suspicions that the tree wasn’t in the right condition but not being there myself I can’t comment. Hopefully they investigate it.”

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A spokesperson for Sheffield City Council said the tree was removed and a full investigation would be taking place.

“We are very sorry to hear that a young woman was slightly injured and treated by paramedics at the scene as a result of a branch falling from a banana tree in the Winter Garden,” continued the spokesperson.

“Our ambassadors were on the scene quickly and provided support to the injured lady.

“This is the first time since the Garden opened in 2003 that a plant has fallen in this way and all measures have been taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”