COSTA MESA (CBSLA) — A quartet of elderly croquet players escaped serious injury Monday after a large tree branch fell on them at a Costa Mesa park, authorities said.

Firefighters were called to the park at 9:40 a.m. after a 50-foot-long branch about 18 inches in diameter fell from a large ficus tree, according to Costa Mesa Fire Capt. Chris Coates.

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The branch – which was splitting when it fell – did not seriously hurt any of the four seniors, who ranged in age from 75 to 99.

Coates says the victims were near the leafy part of the tree, which likely spared them from fatal injuries.

“When you look at that, 18 inches in diameter, that’s a heavy tree coming down,” he said. “If they didn’t hear any cracks or they didn’t see this thing coming down and it ’em square, results could be fatal.”

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Authorities say the group meets at the park across from South Coast Plaza twice a week to play croquet.

Two women and one man were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, while the fourth victim declined
transport to a hospital, Coates said.

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)