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Family seeks answers after death at tuna plant

SANTA FE SPRINGS — Workplace safety investigators and a grieving family on Monday searched for an explanation of how a worker was cooked to death at a Bumble Bee tuna processing plant.

Tony Melena said his 62-year-old father, Jose Melena, was killed in an accident last week at the Santa Fe Springs plant but the company has given the family no information about how he died.

"All they came and did was notify my mother that he had lost his life in an accident, and that's it," said Melena, who is one of the victim's six children. "We don't have any official report."

Police received a 911 call from the Bumble Bee plant Thursday morning to report an industrial accident. When officers arrived, they found the man dead.

Bumble Bee Foods LLC, which reopened the plant Monday, expressed its sadness at Melena's death. The accident occurred during the canning phase of tuna processing, the company said, when tuna cans are sealed, cleaned and placed inside a pressure cooker before they are cooled, labeled and packed for shipment.


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