A 55-year-old man’s left arm was severed in an industrial accident at a Seattle fortune cookie company this afternoon after he became stuck in a machine up to his chest, said Kyle Moore, a spokesman for the Seattle Fire Department.
Medics arrived at the Tsue Chong Co. at 800 S. Weller St., in Seattle’s Chinatown International District, within three minutes of receiving a 911 call at 12:15 p.m., Moore said.
The injured employee “was conscious and alert but in a tremendous amount of pain,” he said.
Firefighters were able to quickly free him and transported the man to Harborview Medical Center along with his severed arm, said Moore, who didn’t know whether doctors would be able to reattach the limb.
Elaine Fischer, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor & Industries, said safety inspectors are on scene and will investigate what happened, what safety requirements apply to the fortune cookie plant and what the employer was doing to ensure safety measures were followed.
There hasn’t been a safety inspection at Tsue Chong Co. since 1996 and the company does not have a history of safety violations, said Fischer.
“If there haven’t been any complaints or incidents to trigger a safety inspection, we don’t routinely inspect every business,” she said. “That particular plant didn’t get on our radar for any of those things, so there wasn’t any reason” to do an inspection.