Forestry worker killed

By Anita Moran of The Daily Post -
File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

A forestry worker has been killed after being hit by a tree near Rotorua.

Police were called to a private forestry road in the Waione Block, off State Highway 30, near Moose Lodge, about 2.50pm today.

A man working in the forest has been killed after being hit by a falling tree.

A St John ambulance spokeswoman said crews were called to the forestry area after the 23-year-old man was hit by a tree.

She said she did not have any other details about how the incident happened.

The man's identity has not yet been released by police. But a man who lived close to where the incident happened told the Rotorua Daily Post the victim was a popular league player.

He said he was shocked to hear about what had happened.

The man said several police had been called to the incident, which he understood was in quite heavy bush.

While the Rotorua Daily Post was at the scene several 4WD vehicles could be seen heading to where the incident happened, including several fellow forestry workers.

Rotorua police Senior Sergeant Karl Konlechner told the Rotorua Daily Post that no one else was injured in the incident.

Police were called to attend and did an initial investigation into the incident.

Mr Konlechner said the investigation would likely be handed over to officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as it could be a workplace safety issue.

MBIE investigators were called to the scene shortly after the accident happened.

The Rotorua Fire Brigade was also called but was later stood down.

This latest forestry death comes after two serious forestry incidents this year.

Whakatane's Eramyha Eruera Pairama, 19, died on January 11 after being struck by a tree near Taneatua.

Another forestry worker was airlifted to hospital three days later after being hit by a falling branch while felling trees near Tarawera, on the Napier-Taupo Highway.

The 31-year-old worker suffered rib and shoulder injuries.

After those incidents the forestry industry came under fire with calls for the Government to launch an inquiry into the sector's shocking accident rate.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay introduced the Government's new forestry sector safety code last December but said that until the new code was adhered to it was just a set of rules sitting in a bookcase.

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