A woman, thought to be from New Zealand, has been killed after a branch fell on her as she walked through Kew Gardens during a storm which battered Britain.
A witness claimed to hear a sound "like three or four gunshots", before seeing the 30-year-old woman lying face-down with an "extremely large" branch smashed beside her, reported the Daily Mail .
The woman is believed to have been a New Zealander, living in London.
Her death came as the UK was lashed by wintry weather, with gales and torrential rain.
Witness Gary Baker, who was walking close to where the tragedy occurred, said the branch came "crashing down" from a 60ft (18.2m) tree along a footpath that leads to a restaurant in the botanic gardens, in South-West London.
"There was a bang and I jumped around at what sounded like three or four gunshots," he said.
"I looked and could see what remained of the branch.
"I didn't see it hit the woman but it was quite clear she was badly hurt. Someone shouted, 'call an ambulance' as she lay face down on the ground.
"The branch was extremely large - it was 12 inches (30.5cm) thick at least. It was near her but not on top of her.
"I helped another man to turn her over, on the instructions of the 999 operator, to give her heart massage. Paramedics arrived but they could not save her."
Telecoms manager Baker, said those in the gardens thought the tree had been struck by a bolt of lightning, but said he didn't think that was the case.
"It was not that sort of weather," he said.
"There appeared to be at least another couple who were with her, dressed in similar clothes, but they did not say very much. It was a massive shock."
A spokesman for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew confirmed the death.
"We can confirm a tragic accident at Kew Gardens this afternoon when a falling tree branch resulted in a fatality," he said.
"We are currently working with police and next of kin are being informed."
He said they could not disclose any further information at this stage, but extended "our deepest sympathy" to the deceased woman's family and friends.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed officers were called to the scene and said the matter may be referred to the Health and Safety Executive.