THE INQUEST into the death of a forestry worker was crushed by a falling tree in Cwmfelinfach four years ago has resumed.

Ben Dafydd Thomas died on August 15, 2017, while felling trees in Sirhowy forest, aged 24.

Gwent Coroner’s Court heard today, Monday, how emergency services were called to Pont Lawrence Rees Lane in the forest at around 3pm on that day to reports that a tree had fallen on a man.

Mr Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Daniel Waites, a paramedic, described via a statement given on September 1, 2017, arriving at the scene.

“We had to walk up a steep hill about 50 metres from the ambulance,” he said. “The flooring was soft and damp. There were trees which had been felled already. It was difficult to walk on.

“The body of Ben Thomas was on his back and his arms and legs were to the side.

“The tree had been cut and moved off of him.”

Mr Waites described Mr Thomas’ head as “discoloured” due to bruising and his chest was “soft and pliable”.


A post-mortem examination, carried out the following day, recorded a provisional cause of death to have been 1A: Crush asphyxia and lacerated lungs; 1B: Fractured ribs; caused by 1C: blunt trauma injuries as a result of a falling tree.

Gwent Coroner’s Court heard how the land Mr Thomas was working on was owned by Natural Resources Wales, which had employed Euroforest Ltd to complete tree felling works. These had been subcontracted out to Tree Finesse Forestry Machinery Limited – the company Mr Thomas worked for.

Mr Thomas’ father, Michael Thomas, gave evidence via a statement, where he said his son had gained the qualification to work with chainsaws in January 2017, and began working for Tree Finesse Ltd in April.

The inquest continues.