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Tuna factory employee burned to death after workers start industrial over while he was inside

By Mason White 3:19 PM May 8, 2015
Oven illustration 

By: Mahesh Sarin
An employee of Bumble Bee Foods was burned to death after workers fired up an oven while he was inside loading tuna cans, police in California said.

62-year-old Jose Melena was in the industrial oven at the plant in Santa Fe Springs, in order to load cans of tuna.

The oven is used to sterilize products, and Melena worked to get those cans properly placed in the oven. That day his co-workers began loading the cans on their own, not knowing that he was inside.

They loaded 12,000 cans, closed the door and fired up the oven. The oven hit 270 degrees and he stayed there for nearly two hours.

After the process was complete, the burned remains of Melena were discovered by a co-worker.

The District Attorney of Los Angeles County announced that Bumble Bee Foods and two supervisors were charged with suspicion of intentionally violating safety rules for workers.

The defendants are former security manager Saul Florez and company director of Angel Rodriguez. Florez and Rodriguez could get three years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Bumble Bee could be fined up to $1.5 million. Bumble Bee said that it disagreed with the decision of the District Attorney, saying that the incident was an accident.