Falling Tree Branch Narrowly Misses Band, Audience

Danny Asao
Danny Asao

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Quite a scare outside Iolani Palace Friday. A large tree branch comes crashing down, narrowly missing a concert band and its audience.

It's a weekly treat on the grounds of Iolani Palace. The Royal Hawaiian Band, providing sweet music to those gathered under the trees.

"We play here every Friday," Danny Asao, band member, said. "And usually, sometimes, when it's windy, some of the smaller branches come down."

But on this day, a sound that's not on the playlist.

"I didn't realize what was going on," Asao said. "I heard some crackling noises. I was getting my music together."

A large branch breaks off.

"Honestly, we didn't really have time to think," Allan Thom, band member, said.

It falls just a few feet from Asao. Thom was right next to him.

"Daniel over here, he just put his arms over his head," Thom said. "And the next thing we knew the branch was just down on the ground, and it flew everywhere."

"All I did was just kind of fetal, fetal (position) here in the chair," Asao said.

Witnesses say it's a miracle no one was hit.

"There were a lot of people around, even people sitting as close as right over there," Thom said. "But no one, thankfully and luckily, was hurt or worse."

Now, the show must go on. Thom believes he and his bandmates will be okay.

"It was termite eaten, and like there are bumble bees in there," he said. "And it's a dead branch, and there are no leaves. These all have leaves. So we'll cross our fingers."

But Asao is planning his escape route.

"If I hear any other crackling, I'm heading towards the sidewalk over there," he said.