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Kentucky Smithfield employee dies in workplace accident


Local news reports detailed the death of a Middlesboro man at Smithfield Foods earlier this week. 

Before noon on Oct. 17, Bell County Deputy Coroner Jason Steel was called to the plant. Mark Allen Tapp, a 61-year-old plant employee, was working on a machine when his clothes got pulled into the machine, killing him. 

“He loved his co-workers and made many friends while working there. Before living in Middlesboro, Mark resided in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where he was born and raised. He started his career in his Father’s family grocery, Tapp’s Grocery, where he followed in his Father’s footsteps as a butcher,” reads the obituary.

Tapp’s obituary says that he worked as a production floor attendant in the sanitation department for Smithfield for over 13 years.  

Tapp’s body was reportedly sent to Frankfort for an autopsy, and the plant has been closed to complete and investigation. 

Smithfield Foods responded to Mountain News wymt, saying, “We are deeply saddened to confirm the loss of a team member following a tragic accident at our Middlesboro, Kentucky, facility today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our co-worker. We are grateful for emergency personnel for their rapid response and will support a full investigation of the matter.”

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