SAN ANTONIO – A young child, who was severely injured during a freak accident at San Antonio Zoo on Wednesday, had his condition upgraded.
The child's condition has been upgraded to serious from critical on Thursday morning, according to officials at University Hospital.
The incident happened around noon on Wednesday when a tree branch falls unexpectedly injuring the child and six others.
"We hear what sound sounded like fireworks, a crackling noise," recalled Chris Ryan.
Ryan was there with his two daughters and wife.
"I turn around and realize that the branch was falling down - and that crackling noise was the the breaking of wood!" said Ryan.
The zoo security and EMT Team quickly responded and began treating the guests. The San Antonio Police and fire department were there within minutes.
Witness Brandy Lorraine, who was visiting the zoo with her 9-year-old daughter, said she was on a bench next to the tree when she heard a cracking noise. She said a large part of the tree fell on top of benches where people were sitting.
"It was a freak accident. It was so scary. I saw a woman running for help with blood on her hands. I heard people screaming. I just hope everyone is OK. Thinking about it now is even scarier because any little detour could have put us in that spot."
"I went into help and joined a group of people that were assisting this lady get up and get from underneath the branch and get on her feet. As we're doing that, she was yelling about her baby," said Ryan. "It was very chaotic. A lot a lot of screaming. There are people crying. There are a lot of people in pain."
University Hospital officials said six people were discharged Thursday morning from the hospital.
The zoo does plan to be open Thursday.
Tim Morrow, President and CEO of San Antonio Zoo issued a statement on Twitter Thursday morning:
On Wednesday, a large tree branch unexpectedly broke and fell at San Antonio Zoo, injuring several guests. Zoo first responders and local emergency crews were on site within minutes to treat those who were injured. We are working with our internal and external teams to investigate the cause of the breakage to prevent this unusual event from happening again. The safety of our guests, staff, and animals is always our highest priority. Our gratitude is with the guests, staff, and first responders who assisted during this incident, and our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to those injured and their families, as well as those who witnessed this accident.