Worker Critical After Meat Grinder Accident

By Larissa Dudkiewicz April 6, 2011

When Amos Cameron arrived to K&K Gourmet Meats in Leetsdale Tuesday morning, he found a worker’s foot stuck in a meat grinder.

Cameron, Leetsdale’s assistant fire chief, was one of the first to arrive to the meat processing company on Washington Street, along with police.

“I got there first because I only live a block down from the plant,” he said.

What emergency workers found was Nicholas Mangino, 26, of Edinburg, still ensnared in a meat grinder after spending the night in an elevated 4-foot crevice, his leg and foot pinned in the machine.

Cameron said emergency workers had to climb up to get Mangino down. Cameron, with the help of arriving firefighters from Sewickley and Moon, spent the next 45 minutes working to rescue Mangino, who had been trapped inside the meat processor for at least seven hours.

“We had to cut (the machine) to free his legs,” Cameron said.

Mangino was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition Tuesday night. A hospital spokesman said this afternoon Mangino was listed in critical condition. Family members have declined to comment on  the accident.

At 11 p.m. Monday, police said Mangino’s foot became stuck in a 4-foot crevice in the meat grinder while he was cleaning the 7-foot-high machine.

Police said the daylight crew arrived shortly after 6 a.m. the following morning and found Mangino, who was working alone because another co-worker called off, police said. Mangino didn’t have access to a phone, police added.

Leetsdale Police Chief James Santucci said the U.S. Department of Agriculture was at the plant for an inspection Tuesday morning.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into the incident and has up to six months to complete it.