A worker at a Hicksville spice factory was rushed to the hospital after getting stuck in an industrial machine Tuesday, Nassau police said.
The 30-year-old worker was in critical condition after his left arm and right leg were caught in a mixing machine at about 1:40 p.m. at the Spice Specialist on Bloomingdale Road, police said.
It took Bethpage firefighters and police emergency service officers more than an hour to cut the machine’s mixing blade, called an auger, and extricate the man, who required a tourniquet on his arm at the scene, said John Fitzwilliam, a spokesman for the Bethpage Fire Department.
The accident happened while the employee was pouring a bag of ingredients into a long, rectangular mixer as the auger was rotating, he said.
“The auger, which spins around, caught the bag, and I guess it caught the worker by surprise,” Fitzwilliam said. “It had such force that it pulled him into the machine.”
But the owner of Spice Specialist said the employee put his hand into the spinning mixer, despite a sign warning workers not to do so unless the machine is off.
The employee was mixing spices, said the owner, who declined to give his full name and downplayed the employee’s injuries.
“He put his hand in the machine when it wasn’t supposed to be in the machine,” he said. “When it pulled his arm in, he pulled himself up to try to pull his arm out, and it grabbed his leg, too.”