Man Cooked To Death In Industrial Food Oven

Jose Melena was cleaning the industrial oven at a processing plant, and before he knew it the food was dumped in and he was cooked to death with it, Mirror.co.uk reported. While cleaning the industrial oven at a processing plant for Bumble Bee tuna, 12,000 lbs of the tuna was dumped into the 35-foot-long oven and was cooked for two hours.

“Jose Melena, 62, was performing maintenance in the 35ft pressure cooker when some 12,000lbs of the canned food was dumped on top of him,” the Mirror reported, “Staff at California’s Bumble Bee Foods plant mistakenly believed he was in the bathroom when they switched on the cooker and heated it to 130C for two hours, cooking him to his death. His charred remains were only found when another worker opened the oven, an investigation into the 2012 incident by California Division of Occupational Safety & Health revealed.”

Two employees are being held responsible and are being charged with violation of safety rules that lead to his death.

“Former safety manager Saul Florez and director of plant operations Angel Rodriguez were each charged with three counts of committing an occupational health and safety violation that caused a death, Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said,” the Mirror reported.

Bumble Bee foods stated they take employee safety very seriously and referred to the death of Melena as a tragic accident. They also said they are cooperating fully with government investigations of the incident.

“Bumble Bee cooperated fully with Cal-OSHA in its post-accident investigation, which found no willful violations related to the accident. We disagree with and are disappointed by the charges filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. We are currently exploring all options with respect to those charges and will proceed in the manner that best serves the needs of the Melena family, our employees and the Company,” the Mirror reported the company as stating, “Safety has always been and will always be a top priority at our facilities.”

Felony charges were filed as a result of the incident, USA Today reports.

“Bumble Bee Foods and two of its employees have been charged with willfully violating safety rules in the death of 62-year-old Jose Melena, who was cooked to death inside an industrial oven at the company’s Santa Fe Springs plant,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Prosecutors say that workers unaware Melena was making repairs inside the pressurized steam cooker loaded 12,000 pounds of tuna into it and turned it on, CBS Los Angeles reports. Melena cooked to death and a colleague discovered his charred remains,” USA Today reported.

“According to the Los Angeles Times, Bumble Bee Foods and two of the tuna company’s managers were charged Monday with willfully ignoring safety rules, which led to the death of Melena. Besides the company, former safety manager Saul Florez, 42, and Angel Rodriguez, 63, director of plant operations, were each charged with three felony counts of committing an occupational safety and health violation that caused the death of Melena, 62″ the Inquisitr reported, “Florez, Rodriguez, and the company are scheduled to be arraigned on May 27. If convicted, the two employees each face up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Bumble Bee could be fined up to $1.5 million.”

[Photo of the food processing plant from the Mirror.]