A 62-year-old man was recently found dead inside a cooking device called a “steamer machine” at a Bumble Bee Tuna factory in Los Angeles. Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.
Jose Malena died last Thursday when he became trapped inside the industrial-size pressure cooker and his family claims the company has offered no explanation to them.
“All they came and did was notify my mother that he had lost his life in an accident, and that’s it,” Tony Melena, one of the victim’s six children told the AP. “We don’t have any official report.”
“He was a hard worker,” his daughter Sara Melena told the Whittier Daily News. “A very hard worker.”
“He dedicated himself to providing for the family,” the daughter said. “He was very loving.”
“I believe he is with God,” Sara went on to say. “I can’t say, `God, why us?’ I just think everything has a purpose. God is not going to leave us alone.”
According to police records local authorities received a 911 call from the Bumble Bee plant Thursday morning to report an industrial accident. When officers arrived, they found the man dead.
Craig Harvey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office told the AP the man died in a device described as a pressure cooker.
But with Bumble Bee Foods not answering any of the family or reporter’s question no one knows until the investigation is complete. The company has only issued a short statement expressing their condolences.
“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,” Pat Menke, the company’s vice president of human resources, said in a statement.
Melena and his wife arrived in California in 1971 from Urequio, Michoacan, Mexico, looking for a better life for their 1-year-old daughter, the Whittier Daily News reports. They settled in the predominately Latino community of Wilmington.
Fatal injuries incurred by Latino workers accounted for 16 percent of the 4,609 total fatal work injuries that occurred in the U.S. in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Latino workers had a fatal work injury rate of 3.9 fatal work injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers compared with the all worker fatal work injury rate of 3.5 fatal work injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers.
While fatal work injuries to Latino men have declined 28 percent since 2006, fatal work injuries among Latina women have remained relatively constant over that period.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating Melena’s case. The investigation could take up to six months.