California tuna factory worker was cooked to death identified

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Santa Fe Springs, CA, United States (4E) – The California tuna factory employee who died inside the plant’s steam oven last Thursday has been identified Saturday.

Officials reported that 62-year-old Jose Melena was cooked to death on the job at the Bumble Bee plant in Santa Fe Springs.

The man, who has been working in the factory for more than six years, was found inside a cooking device called a steamer machine. Melena was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

A spokesperson for the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration said they have no idea how he ended up inside the device and stated that investigations are going on to find out if health and safety regulations have been violated.

Bumble Bee Foods spokesman Pat Menke in a statement said that “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.”

Melena’s son said that his father “wanted us to be honest, truthful and hard working. And I very much remember everything from my dad.”

Plant operations has been suspended Thursday morning but is scheduled to resume on Monday.

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