Bumble Bee Tuna Plant Worker Cooked to Death in Oven

cook
Jose Melena, 62, was cooked to death at a Southern California seafood plant for tuna maker Bumble Bee Foods. KCAL9

Police say that a 62-year-old employee was cooked to death in an industrial accident at a Southern California Bumble Bee Foods seafood plant.

Authorities say that it is still unclear how Jose Melena ended up in the plant's cooking device, which was referred to in coroner documents as a "steamer machine".

The police were reportedly called to the seafood plant at 7 a.m. Thursday morning and found Melena, who had worked for the plant for 6 years, in the oven. Police had pronounced him dead at the scene.

An initial investigation concluded that Melena had been fatally injured when he was cooked in the industrial cooker, according to Erika Monterroza of California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has also launched an investigation into how  Melena ended up in the machine.

Bumble Bee Foods spokesman Pat Menke said that operations at the canning facility will be suspended until Monday to allow authorities time for a thorough investigation.

"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," Menke said in a statement.

For the investigation, authorities will visit the tuna-canning plant, conduct extensive interviews and review the company's safety documentation.

If investigators find any violations, Bumble Bee Foods could be charged with civil penalties and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office could decide whether criminal charges are warranted.

Loading...
Join the Discussion