Man dies in 'gruesome' wood chipper accident in Davie, southern Florida

A policeman said he had "never seen anything like this" in 20 years of service

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The Independent US

A man was killed by a wood chipper in the US state of Florida on Monday afternoon, in an incident which has left police officers unable to officially identify the man's body. 

The deceased man and his two fellow tree service workers had been clearing debris at around 4:15pm in Davie, Broward County, when he went through the machine, Captain Dale Engle of Davie police told reporters.

Hours later at around 7:30pm, police officers were still struggling to find and identify the man’s remains.

Police said on Tuesday that the death was caused by a “workplace accident,” CBS News reported.

“I've been in police work 20 years. I've never seen anything like this,” said Captain Dale Engle of Davie police told the broadcaster. “It was a gruesome scene.”

Police officers were waiting to notify the family of the man they suspect had died before publicly releasing his name, said Engle.

He added that counsellors would be available to help officers deal with working on the disturbing scene.

Cheryl Appel, a resident who lives near Pine Island Road where the incident occurred, told the Sun Sentinel that she saw a landscape worker run towards his colleague “yelling and flailing his arms around” in distress.

He then collapsed against a fence and buckled to the ground.

"He looked like he was in shock," she said. "It was obvious something happened," she continued, adding that police officers arrived on the scene soon after.

An officer with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration attended the scene on Monday. He declined to a request by CBS News to comment on the ongoing investigation.