The death of a Foster Farms employee in Livingston, California, is under investigation.
The death of Mario Ramos Espinoza, 50, occurred on January 27, but as of the morning of January 29, few details were known about the circumstances.
Merced County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Daryl Allen told the Merced Sun-Star that Espinoza was found underneath a water truck that was still running, at the Foster Farms fertilizer plant, just a few miles away from its main poultry processing plant in Livingston. He reportedly was at the fertilizer plant to work on the water plant.
Emergency personnel were called to the scene around 10 p.m., and Espinoza was pronounced dead around 11:30 p.m.
Ira Brill, vice president of communications for Foster Farms, confirmed with the Sun-Star that Espinoza was an employee of the company, and that Foster Farms extends its sympathies to Espinoza’s family and loved ones.
Other poultry industry fatalities in January
As January draws to a close, it will be remembered as a month of many fatal incidents.
On January 28, six people died as a result of a liquid nitrogen plant at Foundation Food Group’s Prime Pak Foods poultry processing plant in Gainesville, Georgia, while as many as nine others were hospitalized. Officials have yet to release the names of those deceased or hospitalized.
An outside contractor was killed and two others were injured on January 26 when they fell through the roof at a Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant in Waco, Texas.
Keith Deane Kingsley died while working in a turkey barn in Stearns County, Minnesota. Kingsley was sanitizing the barn when he apparently got entangled with a tractor’s power take-off shaft on January 8.
A Tyson Foods employee, Jerry Hickman, died at the Tyson case-ready plant in Sherman, Texas, after becoming pinned between a semi trailer and a loading dock. While Tyson Foods is the largest poultry producer in the United States, this particular plant processes beef and pork products.