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Woman Dies After Falling Into Industrial Dough Mixer

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The accident occurred at a bakery belonging to a Utah grocery store chain.

Reams Food Store/Official

A Ream's Food Store employee in Sandy, Utah, died this week after she fell into an industrial dough mixer, reports the Associated Press. Investigators are calling the incident a fluke accident.

Carmen "Jackie" Lindhardt reportedly was using the mixer in the Salt Lake City-area store's bakery Wednesday morning. Police believe her clothing became caught in the machinery as Lindhardt was reaching over the mixer, and she was pulled in. A coworker heard screaming and turned off the machine, but Lindhardt was pronounced dead at the scene.

"She had already been sucked down into the machine," Sandy Police Sgt. Dean Carriger told the AP. "Those things are designed to pull a great amount of torque to knead the various kinds of breads."

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident, and Sandy Police are interviewing workers who witnessed what happened and awaiting autopsy results before closing the investigation. Carriger told the AP the incident did not occur in view of customers, and the store was closed for a brief time following Lindhardt's death.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with the Lindhardt family at this difficult time," a Ream's spokesperson said in a statement provided to Eater. "We are working closely with the Sandy Police Department as they continue investigating this accident and we have temporarily closed our bakery to determine the cause of this tragic accident and to provide additional safety training and procedures to our team members. The care, safety, and well-being of our team members are of the utmost importance to us. We are providing grief counseling and additional services to all of our team members."

The tragedy comes six months after Bumble Bee Foods was forced to pay $6 million to settle criminal charges after an employee was killed in an industrial oven. OSHA recently investigated Wegemans, an East Coast grocery store chain, and hit the company with $188,000 in fines over safety violations.

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