Worker dies in tuna plant oven
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Tue October 16, 2012
- NEW: Jose Melena's job was to push baskets of canned tuna into a pressure cooker
- Melena was a 6-year veteran of the Santa Fe Springs plant
- California's state worker safety agency is investigating the fatality
Read a version of this story in Arabic
Los Angeles (CNN) -- California authorities are investigating the death of a worker in an oven at a Los Angeles-area tuna processing plant.
The victim, Jose Melena, was cooked to death in a steam oven at the Bumble Bee Foods plant in Santa Fe Springs on Thursday, said Erika Monterroza, a spokeswoman for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
Melena was a six-year veteran of the plant, which was shut down until Monday, the company said.
"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," the company said.
Monterroza said she could not disclose further details. Worker fatality investigations typically take three to four months to complete.
The plant is about 18 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It processes and cans tuna loin.
Melena's job involved pushing baskets of sealed cans into a pressure cooker, and he was considered a skilled and knowledgeable employee, Pat Menke, the company's vice president for human resources, told CNN. The process sterilizes the canned tuna, which is then cooled, dried, labeled and inspected before being shipped to stores, Menke said.
CNN's Stella Chan and Irving Last contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.