A PENSIONER has died from his injuries after being trapped underneath a fallen tree.

The man, thought to be around 70 years old, was found close to Hawthorne’s Urban Wildlife Centre on Southampton Common yesterday afternoon.

Southampton City Council has now launched an inquiry into the incident after confirming it was responsible for the trees although it added it always checked trees for signs of decay.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue said the elderly man was rescued using specialist lifting equipment as part of an operation involving ten firefighters.

A fire crew from St Mary’s attended with the special equipment unit and a support pump from Redbridge.

South Central Ambulance Service then dispatched an ambulance, a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance officer to the scene and the air ambulance dropped off its crew to help treat the man.

He was then taken to Southampton General Hospital by ambulance with serious injuries.

But a Hampshire police spokesman said last night: “We can confirm that we were called to reports of an elderly man who had serious injuries on Southampton Common close to Hawthorne’s Wildlife Centre at 1.25pm. The man was taken to Southampton General Hospital but has subsequently died of his injuries.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

A police investigation is now under way and a report will be prepared for Southampton and New Forest coroner.

Meanwhile, Cllr Warwick Payne, Cabinet member for housing and sustainability, said a council investigation would be carried out after confirming that Southampton Common was council-owned land so the trees there would belong to it.

He said: “This is a very sorry piece of news to hear and our thoughts are obviously with the family of the man involved.”