Bumble Bee Tuna plant worker cooked to death in oven

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.

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.

I’ve worked in some pretty dangerous factories. Places where deaths weren’t at all uncommon. Still, I have to wonder what the investigation will turn up.

This is a truly bizarre industrial death.

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