Glenvale — Following a horrific accident where meat processing plant employee Ken Gains slipped into a meat grinder and was gruesomely mangled, friends and family of the terribly disfigured man are grief-stricken today, as doctors are confident the man will recover.
Describing the severity of Gains’ disfigurement, Dr. Martin Hamelyn said, “He’s sort of like the man without a face, only he’s also missing his arms, legs, and genitalia. Not only did this unfortunate man endure lacerations the likes of which I’ve never seen, he is also suffering third-degree burns that cover virtually every part of his body.”
Peter Shanks, a fellow employee of Gains who witnessed the event, said Gains was carrying a highly flammable cleaning agent at the time. “He was passing the processing unit when a loose gear flew out of a rotating valve — he was hit in the face. I saw him go over the railing with the stuff, and then saw flames shoot up. Those blades move so fast, it must have caused a spark when it cut through one of his bones.”
The processor was quickly shut down and the fire was extinguished with a barrel of animal entrails that was close at hand, and Gains was rushed to a nearby hospital. “We couldn’t believe he survived,” added Shanks, “nor could we stomach it… I mean, if God has a plan for us all, I’m at a loss as to what that son of a bitch has got planned for Ken.”
When Gains arrived at the hospital, Dr. Hamelyn explained, staff did everything in their power to keep him alive. “Unfortunately we succeeded,” he said. “Without his sense of sight, smell, taste or hearing, and his only remaining sensory organ burned beyond repair, Mr. Gains is not just in pain, he is pain.”
With the tragedy fresh in their minds, Gains’ family is, understandably, in shock. “If only they hadn’t gotten there on time,” said Gains’ wife, Sarah, “he might not still be here today.”