An employee was transported by air Friday after piece of heavy machinery fell on his leg, pinning him to the ground.

The incident occurred at Pine Products, a sawmill located at 315 Carver Road.

A 911 call came from that address, and the public safety scanner cited a person injured under a pile of debris. Pine Products make wood for construction.

Neil Tatum, general manager of Pine Products, would not identify the employee but said he was a maintenance supervisor at the plant.

Tatum said the man was working when a piece of heavy equipment fell on his leg, pinning his leg to the ground. Tatum called the equipment a "debarker."

Employees who were with the man freed him within about five minutes, Tatum said. The employee remained conscious and received medical attention.

Henry County Public Safety and the Horsepasture Fire Department responded to the call that came in about 2:30, HC Public Safety Director Matt Tatum said.

A helicopter, dispatched just before 3, landed on a sports field at the Horsepasture Ruritan Club. It departed about 3:30.

Charlie Bradshaw, Horsepasture Volunteer Fire Department chief, said this was an “industrial accident. Some type of accident."

“One of these guys that works there apparently got his leg crushed … had a piece of machinery fall on his leg.”

It was unknown whether the patient was taken to Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem, N.C., or a Roanoke hospital.

"The company is like a big family, and we're praying for him," Neil Tatum said.

Holly Kozelsky and Paul Collins of the Bulletin staff contributed to this report.

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