Forest worker dies after being struck by a falling log in New Zealand's Wairau Valley on Jan. 16, another logger is seriously injured in separate incident in Whakatane on same day

LOS ANGELES , January 16, 2014 () – A logger has died and another has been seriously injured in two separate incidents in New Zealand on Jan. 16, according to a report by 3 News.

The fatal incident happened in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough, where a 53-year-old man died after being struck by a falling log. Police were called to the site at around 10 a.m., and the man was pronounced dead by ambulance officers. A spokesperson said the fatality had been leading a crew of four on a private forestry block when the accident happened.

In Whakatane, a 39-year-old man was seriously injured in a separate incident and was flown to Tauranga Hospital around 10:30 a.m. Officials said he was hit by a punga tree that was dislodged by a tree he was felling, injuring his shoulder, back and legs.

Investigators from WorksSafeNZ were dispatched to both scenes. The government safety agency said it was "deeply saddened" by the incidents, and general manager of health and safety operations Ona de Rooy noted that the incidents followed 10 deaths in the industry last year, describing the safety record as "appalling."

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said nothing had changed in the industry, noting that no regulations had been introduced to relieve the pressure on workers. According to Kelly, loggers were being put to work "harder and harder" as the price of logs skyrocketed.

The primary source of this article is 3 News, Auckland, New Zealand, on Jan. 16, 2014.

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