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New York lumber worker killed in cutting machine accident

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A worker at an upstate New York lumber company was killed on Monday when a colleague mistakenly turned on a cutting machine as he was changing the blades on the equipment, police said.

"It was an accident. They were both longtime employees," said Chief Eugene Conway of the Dewitt, New York Police.

Police responded to a call at 5:30 a.m. and found Thomas Pelton, 35, of Camden, dead inside B&B Lumber in Dewitt, just outside Syracuse.

He was doing his regular job, servicing a cutting machine, when it was mistakenly turned on by another employee, police said.

"The employee did not realize he had started the machine and was unable to turn it off before the victim was fatally injured," Conway said.

No other employees were in the immediate area at the time.

Pelton, who has children, had worked at the lumber company for more than 18 years.

No criminal charges will be filed in the industrial accident, said Conway.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Greg McCune)

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