See updates below.   

EMERGENCY services were called to rescue a man after a tree fell on him.

The middle-aged man was cycling along Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, at about 7pm last night when the tree fell on him.

Police, paramedics and firefighters worked for an hour to free him.

He has been taken to hospital.

Leading Firefighter Gavin Ellis from Colchester Fire Station said: “The man was cycling home from work when about half a tonne of branch - the width of an average man - fell 15-20 feet down on him from a huge tree about 50-60 feet high.

“An inch or two either way and it would have killed him but fortunately the bike took the impact and the frame was crushed while he was thrown slightly off, ending up trapped under the branch and suffering quite significant injuries.

“Ambulance paramedics stabilised him and he was conscious while we worked to cut him free.

“Once released, he was taken to hospital.

“There was no significant weather that would explain why the branch fell at that moment.

“It looks like it may have been rotten so police have cordoned off the area and we have asked Colchester Council to take over to ensure there is no further danger to people using the footpath.”

UPDATE: 10.30am Tuesday

The man, who is thought to be in his 40s, received serious injuries to his arm, back, chest and head.

He was taken to Colchester General Hospital last night.

His injuries are not thought to be immediately life-threatening.

UPDATE 1.15pm

Colchester hospital has said the man is now in a stable condition.