The tuna company where a worker was cooked to death along with tons of fish three years ago has been charged with felony safety violations.
According to AP, Bumble Bee Foods and two workers – the director of plant operations and a former safety manager – will each face the three-count felony charges, which was brought against them on Monday.
On Oct. 11, 2012, Jose Melena, 62, entered a 35-foot oven at the company’s Santa Fe Springs plant to make a repair inside the machine, which is used to sterilize thousands of cans of tuna at a time.
Unaware that Melena was inside the oven, other plant workers loaded several carts that altogether held about 12,000 pounds of tuna, shut the door and turned on the oven, prosecutors said.
Temperatures peaked at around 270 degrees, and Melena cooked to death, prosecutors said. His charred remains were found by another plant worker.
Reacting to the charges, Bumble Bee Foods said in a statement, ‘We remain devastated by the loss of our colleague Jose Melena in the tragic accident. We disagree with and are disappointed by the charges filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.’
If found guilty, the company faces a fine of $1.4 billion.