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Jose Melena, Bumble Bee tuna worker, accidentally cooked to death

A worker at a Bumble Bee Foods factory in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., died in industrial oven accident this week.
Tuna cans seychellesEnlarge
Cans of tuna on a conveyor belt at a tuna factory in the Seychelles. (Tristan McConnell/GlobalPost)

A worker at a Bumble Bee Foods factory in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., died in industrial oven accident this week, NBC News reported.

Safety officials said Jose Melena, 62, was accidentally cooked in a “steamer machine” at the seafood canning company’s plant, NBC News reported. Police pronounced him dead at the scene at 7 a.m. Thursday.

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California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Erika Monterroza said it was unclear how Melena ended up inside the oven, the Contra Costa Times reported. Cal-OSHA has launched an investigation into the accident which it plans to complete in six months, she added.

If it turns out that the factory did violate state health and safety regulations, Bumble Bee Foods will face civil penalties, Monterroza said, according to the Contra Costa Times. In addition, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office could decide to indict the company on criminal charges.

"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," Bumble Bee Foods spokesman Pat Menke said in a statement, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The factory, which suspended operations after the accident, is expected to resume business on Monday, the Contra Costa Times reported.

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