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Ontario arborist dies following incident involving wood chipper, witness says

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A contract worker who was removing trees in Oshawa Wednesday is dead following an incident involving a wood chipper, a witness tells CTV News Toronto.

It happened in the area of Waverly Street North near Adelaide Avenue West in the city’s McLaughlin neighbourhood at approximately 8:45 a.m.

The company, Eco Tree Care, was hired by the City of Oshawa to remove nearby ash trees, which often house the invasive emerald ash borer beetle.

A distraught neighbour, who was recording the tree removal on his cellphone, told CTV News Toronto that he saw the worker get partially pulled into the wood chipper.

Durham police confirmed the arborist was pronounced dead at the scene.

“For us, the group, they’re an extended part of our family so when something like this tragic happens it just -- our heartfelt condolences and our hearts go out to the family. This is very hard to deal with,” Mike Saulnier, the director of operations for the City of Oshawa, told CTV News Toronto.

“There’s no such place for an incident like this to happen. And that’s what’s very hard for us to digest,” Saulnier said.

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour is now investigating the incident as well as the type of equipment that was used during the tree removal.

With files from CTV News Toronto’s John Musselman

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