melville, sk

A 17-year-old who was helping out with wood-cutting chores on a family farm has died after the saw broke apart, police say.

The youth was cutting wood on a farm near Melville, Sask., Saturday afternoon, RCMP reported in a news release issued Tuesday.

"The flywheel on the mandrel saw that was being used broke apart and struck the young man causing injuries to his head and leg," police said. The youth was taken to hospital in Melville and then moved to the Regina General Hospital, where he died.

Police investigated, along with an official from the province's occupational health and safety department, and determined it was a "tragic freak accident."

Police explained that the flywheel on the saw was made of cast iron and weighed about 22 to 34 kilograms.

"In this instance the flywheel broke apart in several pieces while the flywheel was spinning at high speeds," police said.

They added that the name of the youth would not be released, at the request of his family.