Wong Ma Kok Path at Saint Stephen's Beach in Stanley. Photo: Google Maps

A 12-meter-tall Chinese tallow tree on a hillside near a stairway leading to a beach collapsed and injured a 47-year-old Hong Kong hiker in the tourist spot of Stanley in Hong Kong’s Southern district.

The woman, who was hiking with companions, was hit at 12.26pm on Tuesday on Wong Ma Kok Path at St Stephen’s Beach in Stanley.

One of the branches of the tree, with a diameter of 35.5cm and an 8 meter canopy,  hit the woman hiker, surnamed Lam, in the head and she began to bleed, Apple Daily reported. 

Her friends examined the wounds and called the police. The woman was later treated at hospital.

Based on images from the scene of the incident, Conservancy Association Chief Executive Ken So Kwok-yin said it loooked as though the tree had been dead for a while, given it had no leaves and the branches looked dried up, Ming Pao reported. The association is a group that aims to protect Hong Kong’s environmental resources. 

An Architectural Services Department spokesman said the tree had been inspected on January 18 and no risks of collapse were noted.

The department will follow up with a full inspection of trees on the hillside where the incident occurred.