AstraZeneca vaccine lab worker crushed to death by falling tree day before her birthday

AstraZeneca vaccine lab worker crushed to death by falling tree day before her birthday

A lab worker who worked for Covid vaccine maker AstraZenica was crushed to death by a falling tree a day before her birthday.

Susan Cobham died and two others are fighting for life as a dangerous storm ripped through beaches in Australia on Sunday afternoon.

Ms Cobham was celebrating her neighbourhood Christmas gathering near Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club in Sydney when the fatal storm hit the city.

She was making her way to her car to go home when lightning struck a huge pine tree which fell hitting her two others.

The 68-year-old died at the scene and her friend a 71-year-old woman, and a 19-year-old girl who are both in a critical condition at Royal North Shore hospital.

A parked car after being struck by a fallen tree near Narrabeen Lake, Sydney Australia
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AAP/PA Images)

Her son Ben wrote an emotional tribute to his mum on social networking site Facebook and described her as a “beautiful soul” who suffered a “freak accident”

He said: “It was an unlucky freak accident. She has left us far too early and will be sorely missed.”

The victim’s LinkedIn profile says she was an analytical chemist and lab technician at AstraZeneca which produced the life-saving Oxford vaccine.

She also worked at the British School of Montevideo in Uruguay, which provides an English language program to students.

A pedestrian walks around a fallen tree in Narrabeen, north-east of Sydney
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AAP/PA Images)

A local yoga teacher, Ms Cobham was an active member of the Northern Beaches community.

“Very very sad news. RIP dear Susan,” a friend wrote in response to the post.

Another friend described her as beloved by all of her colleagues.: “She was such a wonderful person. May she RIP.”

Avalon Yoga Co-op, where the grandmother worked, said it was deeply saddened to learn she had died.

Lifesavers swam out to get a trampoline which had been blown from a nearby backyard
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Nine)

“Sue taught Japanese yoga on Sunday mornings at the Co-op and will be sadly missed,” a spokesman for the business posted.

Superintendent Paul Edwards of NSW Ambulance said Ms Cobham’s friend suffered severe internal injuries while the teenager had head and spinal injuries.

Mr Edwards said there “near misses” as people from Sydney got caught in the violent storm which was completely unexpected.

Community members clear debris of a fallen tree at a property
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AAP/PA Images)

He said: “We had a lot of people that were hit by debris that had a lot of bruises and cuts that were assessed, and those people didn’t require transport to a hospital.”

The clean-up operation began on Monday to repair hundreds of damaged homes and uprooted trees.

Reports said more than 25,000 homes are still without power after the ferocious storm damaged power lines and tore homes apart

A car is seen after being hit by a fallen tree as kids play in the water near Narrabeen Lake
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AAP/PA Images)

Winds peaked at 80km/h and emergency services reportedly received more than 500 calls for help, with the worst of the damage seen around Narrabeen, but also Dee Why and Mona Vale.

Volunteers from across the state are being sent to the region to assist the mass clean-up effort, with hundreds of the calls yet to be attended as casualties are treated.

The freak storm battered the Northern Beaches on Sunday afternoon, killing a woman and leaving two fighting for life
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Nine)

Australian website 9News reported that countless power lines and other trees were felled by the storm with many uprooted in what forecasters described as a “micro-storm”, which ripped apartment roofs off and damaged cars.

The worst affected areas Dee Why and Narrabeen were hardest hit by the storm which “appeared out of nowhere”, according to NSW SES Superintendent Stuart Fisher.

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