8 Jun 2014

Man's death a terrible tragedy - vicar

6:16 am on 8 June 2014

The death of a man crushed by a log at a Nelson church on Saturday is a terrible tragedy, the vicar of the church says.

The 26-year-old was working with a colleague at the church in the Wakefield area on Saturday morning when the incident happened.

He was taken by ambulance to Nelson Hospital but died of his injuries.

Wakefield Vicar Allan Wasley said he was not there at the time but that it was a tragedy.

"And they were simply dissecting a log that was already on the ground. Unfortunately something must have dislodged the larger part of the log, which then rolled down the hill on to the person," Mr Wasley said.

"It's just a terrible tragedy and we feel completely for the family."

The men were doing the maintenance as part of community work sentences, Mr Wasley said.

Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel chair George Adams said the incident was a regrettable reminder of how dangerous felling trees and dealing with logs could be.

Mr Adams said although the circumstances of the fatality were unclear, anyone working with logs should exercise extreme caution and should be mindful of the risks.

Worksafe New Zealand and the Coroner will be investigating.