An employee at an Oregon meat-processing plant was killed last week when he fell into a blender.
According to the Associated Press, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the news on Tuesday, stating that Hugo Avalos-Chanon, 41, of Portland, Ore., fell into a large industrial blender at Interstate Meat Distributors around 11:45 p.m. on Friday. Avalos-Chanon worked for DCS Sanitation Management, which has a contract to clean meat-processing equipment at the plant every day.
A co-worker that witnessed Avalos-Chanon's fall pressed an emergency stop button and called 911, but it was too late to save him. On Saturday, firefighters returned to the scene to remove Avalos-Chanon’s body from the machinery.
According to official reports from medial officials given to the Oregonian, Avalos-Chanon died from "blunt-force injuries and chopping wounds." No foul play is suspected in the death, which is believed to be accidental.
The Oregonian reports that the state Occupational Safety and Health Division had previously cited Interstate Meat in October after determining that meat-grinding equipment was not properly locked while cleaners were doing their jobs. This may not have been a factor in Avalos-Chanon’s death, however.
Oregon OSHA spokeswoman Melanie Mesaros told the Oregonian that it is too early in the investigation to jump to conclusions regarding the previous OSHA violation.
"It's way too early to say," Mesaros told the Oregonian. "We're just starting our investigation, which could take six months."
Darrin Hoy, president Interstate Meat Distributors, told reporters at the Oregonian that the incident was “extremely unfortunate” and difficult for him to discuss.
"We're not looking forward to reliving through any of it again," he added.
Interstate Meat Distributors has been in business in the area for 42 years.