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The Associated Press March 1, 2011, 12:27PM ET

California man dies after fall into meat grinder

Authorities were investigating the death Monday of a 72-year-old worker who fell into a meat-grinding machine at a processing plant.

The accident occurred at Central Valley Meat Co. in Kings County.

"Despite all safety precautions there was an unforeseen tragic accident at our plant," Brian Coelho, general manager of the plant, said in a prepared statement. "The circumstances are being fully investigated."

The company had no further comment.

The man, a Hanford resident, was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity was being withheld pending the notification of his family.

The plant has been investigated for two previous accidents, said Krisann Chasarik, a spokeswoman for California's workplace safety agency.

In a mishap in December, a worker caught her hand in the grinder and suffered a partial amputation, Chasarik said. That accident is still under investigation.

In an accident in November 2004, a worker who was cleaning a meat grinder activated it and was able to switch off the machine before getting sucked in.

The company paid a $1,100 for the failure to lock out the device in that case, Chasarik said.

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