13 Tragic and Unfortunate Food Deaths Slideshow
August 9, 2012
Teen Dies During Hot Dog Eating Contest (San Pedro, Calif.)
Middle-schooler Noah Akers died after choking on a hot dog that he ate while participating in a hot dog eating contest to benefit the victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010. The 13-year-old from San Pedro, Calif. joined 12 other students in the event organized by the Boys and Girls Club. Students, with no intention of eating numerous hot dogs, were to eat a single hot dog covered in whipped cream in order to win a candy prize.Akers began choking and was taken to a nearby area hospital after paramedics removed the hot dog from his throat with extended forceps. The student had been without oxygen for too long and was removed from life support days later, reported KTLA in Los Angeles.
Soup Worker Cooked (Lübeck, Germany)
A factory worker found himself in a steamy situation in 2009 while cleaning out the inside of a soup cauldron. The 36-year-old man had climbed inside to clean the massive container at the Erasco Soup Factory in Lbeck, Germany when things went terribly wrong. The lid closed on the cauldron, trapping the man inside and quickly filled with steam as part of the disinfectant process; the man was cooked alive, reported The Local.
Death by Chocolate (Camden, N.J.)
The term is commonly used for ice creams, cakes, and other various desserts, but for a New Jersey man, death by chocolate was all too real. In 2009 an employee at a chocolate processing plant had an unfortunate and tragic accident, which led to his ultimate demise.
While dumping in raw chocolate, Vincent Smith II, 29, fell into a vat used to melt chocolate. Smith suffered a fatal blow to the head after hitting his head on the vat’s agitator, the paddle used to stir the melting chocolate.
Another man on the platform from which Smith fell turned off the machinery, but it was too late and Smith died from his injuries, reported CNN.
Moonshine Fire (Lincolnshire, U.K.)
An explosion in an abandoned warehouse-turned-illegal-moonshine-production-plant left five men dead and one severely injured in July 2011. When officers arrived at the warehouse in Boston, Lincolnshire, a small port town on the Eastern shore of England, they discovered bottles and chemicals used in the production of moonshine, reported The Guardian.
The production of moonshine for commercial purposes is illegal in the United Kingdom, carrying a punishment of fines and confiscation of the illegal liquor. After seizing fake liquors from six international shops in town, Lincolnshire police became suspicious. They believe that the group producing the illegal liquor may have been supplying it to small businesses in the area.
‘Popcorn Lung Disease’ Death (Sioux City, Iowa)
Ronald Kuiper, 69, worked at American Pop Corn Company for 26 years and worked for a number of years as a butter-flavoring mixer. In 2006 Kuiper was diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans – a rare form of non-reversible obstructive lung disease that causes scar tissue to constrict the bronchioles reducing lung capacity. Kuiper died in 2009 from complications due to overexposure to diacetyl, a chemical commonly used to flavor popcorn, potato chips, cookies, and candies, reported website, Lawyers and Settlements.
In 2009 over 300 cases involving popcorn lung were set to go to trial with some settled lawsuits producing verdicts as high as $20 million.
Worker Dies in Dough Mixer (Singapore)
After moving to Singapore to make a new life for himself, a Chinese worker had a fatal accident in February 2012 at the Eng Bee Foodstuffs Manufacturing factory where he worked. The man in his 20s had been cleaning an industrial-sized mixing machine at Eng Bee Foodstuffs Manufacturing when the machine unexpectedly turned on and caught his leg. The man was crushed in the machine and died.
Caffeine Addiction Leads to Mom’s Death (Wellington, New Zealand)
Natasha Harris, a 30-year-old New Zealand mother of eight, drank nearly 10 liters of Coca-Cola a day. In the months leading up to her death, Harris became irritable and had virtually no energy until she cracked open her first can of Coke each day, according to Fox News.
Harris ultimately suffered a cardiac arrest due to her love for the sugary soft drink. Doctors believe that Harris had developed severe hypokalemia, a lack of potassium in the blood, along with poor nutrition and excessive caffeine, according to her pathologist.
Two Men Toasted in Oven (Leicester, Eng.)
Management at the Harvestime bakery in Leicester, England, requested that maintenance be performed on the 75-foot-long oven, so they called in two men to repair the bread-baking oven. The oven, which had a conveyor belt inside, had only been shut off for two hours instead of the mandated 12 hours when David Mayes, 47, and Ian Erickson, 43, crawled inside, according to the Daily Mail.
After a few minutes, the workers sent panicked messages over a radio that one of the men had carried in with him, expressing that the oven was too hot. The oven’s conveyor belt had no reverse mechanism, and the men were carried through the oven, which was still a scorching 212 degrees. It took 17 minutes for the men to pass through the oven.
Erickson made it through the oven with intense burns and later died on the floor of the bakery in front of employees. Mayes was trapped inside and later freed by the fire department. He sustained burns over 80 percent of his body and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Man Commits Suicide in Whisky Tank (Dufftown, Scotland)
Brian Ettles, a 46-year-old father of two, had been an employee of The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, for 23 years.
In an apparent suicide, Ettles climbed the ladder of a 16-foot container filled with washback, a mixture of water and yeast that is used in the early stages of whisky distillation, and intentionally jumped in one day in January 2012, according to the Telegraph.
Paramedics and firefighters found Ettles in the 50,000-gallon tank and pronounced him dead at the scene, one day after his wifes 54th birthday. No suicide note was left.
Keg Explosion Kills Worker (Portsmouth, N.H.)
Benjamin Harris was cleaning residual liquid from a plastic beer keg at Redhook Ale Brewery in Portsmouth, N.H., in April 2012, when the keg ruptured and exploded, according to Fosters.com.Harris was working on the keg in a storage and supply area of a facility that is attached to the brewery and accompanying pub. Harris was filling the keg with pressurized air when it exploded, striking him in the chest and head. Harris was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Pinto Bean Pile Kills Man (Brush, Colo.)
Raymond Segura Jr. had worked for the Kelley Bean Company for more than 12 years when he was involved in a freak accident at the factory in Brush, Colo.
The 56-year-old man became trapped beneath a pile of pinto beans in March 2012. It was not clear how Segura became trapped under the pile of beans, but emergency personnel were called to the scene where dozens of men, including four inmates from the county jail, dug through the pile of legumes for an hour to retrieve the man, according to Reuters.
Upon reaching Segura, the workers realized that he had already died.
Meat Grinder Kills Man (Lawton, Okla.)
Months before his wedding, Michael Raper, 26, was working at Bar S Foods sausage factory in Lawton, Okla. Raper, a father of four, was set to marry his fiancée in February 2012.
The sausage factory worker was in charge of cleaning out the auger. As Raper cleaned the machine one day in July 2011, he fell feet first into the meat grinder and became entangled in the blades, according to The Huffington Post.
For nearly two hours, emergency workers attempted to free Raper who was conscious the whole time. The machine had to be cut in two to free him. Raper was taken to the hospital where he died the next day due to the severity of his injuries.
Marathon Runner Dies of Water Intoxication (London, England)
A fitness instructor from Milton Keynes, England had an unfortunate accident after finishing his first London Marathon in 2007, reported the Daily Mail. David Rogers, 22, finished the 26.2 mile course in just three hours and 30 minutes but collapsed at the end of the race due to what many thought was a heat related issue. Temperatures were the highest they had ever been during the marathon’s 27-year history, topping out at nearly 75 degrees.
But upon investigation, doctors discovered that Rogers died from hyponatraemia, or water intoxication. Because of the heat, Rogers drank so much water that his brain swelled, leading to his death the following day. Rogers was the ninth runner to die since the first London Marathon in 1981.