Two men are in Waikato Hospital after each lost four fingers in separate accidents yesterday.

A 59-year-old Turangi man lost his fingers and damaged his hand while trying to free a branch that had become stuck in a mulcher, Youthtown Trust rescue helicopter pilot Mark Funnell said.

He was taken to a local medical centre before being airlifted to Waikato Hospital where he underwent several hours of surgery.

A Waikato District Health spokeswoman said he was recovering today.

The second man, a 20-year-old from Gisborne, was also taken to hospital after losing four fingers.

The hospital spokeswoman said the man was a forestry worker and was injured when a steel cable pulled his hand into a pulley.

He was awaiting surgery this morning.

- NZPA