THE HEALTH and Safety Executive is looking into how a pensioner died after being trapped underneath a fallen tree.

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

The HSE has confirmed that it is aware of the incident and are currently making enquiries into what happened to establish if they need to launch an official investigation.

As the trees are the responsibility of Southampton City Council, it is understood that this investigation will get underway later today, with someone from the HSE attending the scene.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, fire crews from St Mary's and Redbridge were called to the Common just after 1pm yesterday by the ambulance service to help lift the tree from the trapped man.

He was conscious and breathing and firefighters used specialist lifting equipment to free him from under the tree.

Within half-an-hour they had lifted the tree and the elderly man was taken to Southampton General Hospital by ambulance with serious injuries.

Hampshire Constabulary have confirmed that the death is not being treated as suspicious and are preparing a report for the Southampton and New Forest coroner.

A spokesperson for the HSE said that they would need to be involved in an investigation if, as it is understood, the council are responsible for the trees, because the council would be unable to launch an investigation into themselves.