2 dead after tree branch falls on crowd at fireworks show

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Authorities say two people have died after a tree branch fell on spectators during a fireworks display in western Illinois.

The Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office says the branch fell from a large oak tree outside the county courthouse in Rock Island around 9:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Dozens were sitting near the tree watching the fireworks when the branch fell about 25 feet (8 meters) and crushed some of the spectators. Some of those who weren’t hurt tried to lift the branch to free the people trapped beneath.

Authorities said 61-year-old Daniel Mendoza Sr. of Rock Island was pronounced dead at the scene. Seventy-two-year-old Lawrence Anderson of Moline died at a hospital.

Authorities have not provided the causes of death.

Five other people were injured.

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