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Nara cops: Bone fragments found in crushing machine, employee missing

The lumber recycling plant operated by IGO Group
The lumber recycling plant operated by IGO Group

NARA (TR) – Bone fragments likely belonging to a missing male employee at a lumber recycling plant in Nara City have been found inside a crushing machine, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Sept. 6).

At around 5:00 p.m. on Monday, a staff member at the plant, operated by ITO Group, telephoned Nara Prefectural Police to report that “a male employee appears to have been caught inside a crushing machine.” Police arriving at the scene found bone and helmet fragments mixed with the cut wood pieces.

The missing worker, 45, who is employed on a sub-contract basis, had been of four persons tasked with producing wood chips to be used as fuel.

The worker began using the crushing machine for the first time on Monday. He was positioned in front of the machine in order to remove rocks and other items from the material being fed via a belt conveyor. After the work day ended at 4:30 p.m., his whereabouts could not be accounted for by another employee. After the machine was halted, the bones were found.

Last month, a 56-year-old male employee at the same plant died after getting caught between a backhoe and a truck.

In addition to working to confirm the identity of the bone fragments, police are considering whether to launch an investigation into the management system in place at the plant on suspicion of professional negligence.