Bumble Bee tuna worker cooked to death was 'hard worker'
The Bumble Bee seafood worker cooked to death in an industrial oven last week was remembered as a hard worker who gave everything he had to his children.
Bumble Bee Foods executives have identified the worker as Jose Melena, 62. He'd worked there for six years. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the death.
His son, Antonio Melena, told KCBS-TV the family is still trying to come to terms with what happened.
“It’s hard to believe what’s going on. And what’s happening. It’s just been really tough," the son said. “He was just grateful he had a job, that he could pay his bills and provide food for his family.”
Family members said Melena worked the late shift, placing tuna in large steamers.
"He was a hard worker," his daughter Sara Melena told the Whittier Daily News. "A very hard worker."
Authorities initially reported that there was some sort of “industrial accident” at the plant in the 13100 block of Arctic Circle about 7 a.m. Thursday, according to Santa Fe Springs Fire Department Division Chief Michael Crook.
Crook said paramedics rushed to the plant and pronounced the man dead as soon as they arrived. No one else was injured.
“The entire Bumble Bee Foods family is saddened by the tragic loss of our colleague, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Melena family,” Pat Menke, the company’s vice president of human resources, said in a statement.
— Ari Bloomekatz