Bumble Bee seafood worker cooked to death in oven
A worker at a Bumble Bee seafood plant was cooked to death in an industrial oven, officials said.
The incident is now under investigation by state regulators.
Officials at the Whittier Police Department said in a statement that they received a call about 7 a.m. Thursday, “regarding an industrial accident” involving a worker at Bumble Bee Seafoods at 13100 Arctic Circle in Santa Fe Springs.
Police and local fire department personnel responded to the business, where they found a 62-year-old male employee dead at the scene, authorities said. They did not describe the nature of the accident and directed media to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which is investigating the issue.
Bumble Bee Foods officials could also not be reached, but identified the employee to the Whittier Daily News as Jose Melena, who had worked for the business for six years, the newspaper reported.
Cal-OSHA spokeswoman Erika Monterroza told the paper that an initial investigation indicated that Melena “was fatally injured when he was cooked in an oven” but it was unclear how he ended up inside the oven, resulting in this “horrendous tragedy,” the newspaper said.
The Associated Press cited a written statement in which Pat Menke, vice president of human resources for Bumble Bee Foods , expressed condolences to Melena’s family. Operations at the plant have been suspended until Monday, the statement said.
-- Ann M. Simmons
Map: Approximate location of incident shown in black. Credit: Los Angeles Times Mapping L.A.