Carmen Lindhardt, a 45-year-old employee at the Utah-based Reams Food grocery chain, died Wednesday after she was dragged into the store’s industrial mixer, used to combine ingredients in bulk.
Lindhardt, known as Jackie to friends and colleagues, worked in the bakery department of the Salt Lake City store, and was using the mixer when she suddenly became caught on one of the moving components of the machine. A coworker heard the woman scream and ran to shut the machine off, but it was too late.
Lindhardt was pronounced dead at the scene.
“It was possibly some loose clothing, or she might have reached into the machine for an unknown reason and gotten caught,” police sergeant Dean Carriger told NBC News. “We’re trying to determine the exact cause at this point.”
An autopsy for the victim has been scheduled for Thursday, and Reams’ bakery department has been temporarily closed.
Last year, the danger of working with industrial cooking equipment was highlighted when Bumble Bee Foods finally came to a settlement in the case of Jose Melena, a 62-year-old employee who was cooked to death after he was locked inside an industrial oven for two hours.
Bumble Bee, along with two of its employees, was charged with occupational negligence and ordered to pay $6 million. Saul Florez, Bumble Bee’s former safety manager, and Angel Rodriguez, the director of plant operations, initially faced jail time over their coworker’s accidental death, but were later sentenced to probation and ordered to complete community service.