CRETE, NEB. – Officials with Smithfield Foods Inc. confirmed a worker was killed at its Crete, Neb., distribution center the evening of Dec. 12. According to the company, an accident in the freezer area of the facility occurred, resulting in one fatality.

“The accident, involving a forklift, caused a substantial collapse of storage shelving. An employee who was working in the immediate area was fatally injured,” said Keira Lombardo, chief administrative officer for Smithfield Foods. “Appropriate authorities were immediately notified.”

The identity of the worker was not disclosed.

Shipments of products from the location of the incident were temporarily suspended, Lombardo said. The distribution center, which was acquired and expanded as part of a $19 million project in 2005, is located adjacent to the company’s pork processing facility, which employs more than 2,000 workers.

“At this time, we are providing support to those affected by this tragic accident,” Lombardo said. “Our thoughts today are foremost with the family and friends of our employee.”