LAWTON, Okla. — A fatal accident at a Bar-S Foods plant that produces skinless smoked sausage and franks is under investigation by Lawton, Okla., police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to The Associated Press. Michael Raper, 26, was cleaning a machine that utilized an auger when he fell into it, Bar-S officials said. He later died.
Authorities received an emergency call late in the day on July 12 that an employee was trapped in machinery. Police Lt. Steve Thornton said a forklift was used to stabilize then cut the auger in two. Raper was pulled out after it was lifted up.
Capt. Wade Shaw said Raper died at Comanche County Memorial Hospital the next day.
“The entire Bar S Foods family is mourning the loss of our friend and co-worker,” CEO and chairman Tim Day said in a statement released from the company's Phoenix-based headquarters in. “We extend our deepest condolences to the employee's family, and we are committed to helping them and employees get through this difficult period,” he said.
Bar-S Foods officials are conducting an internal investigation and the company is working with all government agencies to determine the accident's cause, said vice president for operations Danny Dupree.