Worker’s hand minced in Swedish meatball mishap

A worker at a Swedish meatball plant lost two fingers on Tuesday morning while trying to unjam a meat grinder at a processing facility in central Sweden.

Worker's hand minced in Swedish meatball mishap
The grinder in the picture is not the machine mentioned in the article

The accident occurred at 7am on Tuesday morning at a plant in Skara operated by Scan, after a 60-year-old employee tried an unorthodox approach to clear a jammed meat grinder.

“First, he was forced to open the machine several times, which has a safety mechanism that causes it to stop automatically,” Scan spokeswoman Margareta Thorgren told The Local.

Despite repeatedly sticking his arm down in the grinder to clean the machine, the 60-year-old man, who has worked at the plant since 1997, found that the machine still jammed upon restarting.

“He then attempted a maneuver whereby he left the machine running and then stuck his hand up inside from the bottom, at which point his hand became caught in the machine and he injured his fingers,” said Thorgren.

The man was immediately taken to hospital where he was being treated for his injuries, but Thorgren was unable to confirm the extent to which the man’s hand had been damaged.

“This is an extremely unfortunate incident,” she said.

“Luckily, it doesn’t happen that often.”

In the meantime, the meatball processing line remains idle pending an investigation into the accident.

The plant’s workplace safety officer, as well as officials from Sweden’s Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) will be on hand later on Tuesday to look into what caused the machine to jam in the first place.

“At this point we don’t know what happened,” said Thorgren.

“Everything will be carefully reviewed. It appears that the man’s injuries were caused by a deviation from standard procedures, but we nevertheless take the incident very seriously.”

Founded in 1899, Scan AB is one of Sweden’s largest producers of meat products including meatballs, sausages, bacon and a range of other products.

Since 1970, the Scan brand has been used by all of Sweden’s slaughterhouse cooperatives.

Today, the company is a part of HKScan and operates processing facilities in Skara, Örebro, Kristianstad, and Linköping.

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Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port

UPDATE: A ferry that ran aground next to islands between Finland and Sweden with nearly 430 crew and passengers on board, was refloated and heading for port, its owners said Sunday.

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port
The Viking Line ship Grace hit rocks in in the Aland archipelago. Photo AFP

The Viking Line's “Grace” hit rocks on Saturday afternoon while sailing between the Finnish port of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm, shortly before a stopover in Mariehamn, in the Aland archipelago, Finland's coast guard said.

The passengers had to spend the night on board, though there was no immediate danger as it was not taking on water. No one was hurt in the incident.

A tug boat helped refloat the ferry in the small hours of Sunday morning, the coast guard said on Twitter.

After disembarking around 260 passengers at Mariehamn, it went on to its home port of Turku in Finland, a Viking Line spokeswoman told AFP Sunday. It would undergo repairs in the coming days, she added.

Although the cause of the accident has yet to be established, the coast guard said there were strong winds in the area at the time.

The company cancelled its Saturday ferry service, which was to have been taken by a smaller vessel, because of a storm warning.

In September, another Viking Line ferry, the Amorella, ran aground on the same Aaland Island and the passengers had to be evacuated.