- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) - Federal workplace safety officials are investigating a fatal industrial accident at an Idaho seed plant on Wednesday.

Officials say Francisca R. Gomez, 63, of Parma died after her hair got caught in a piece of machinery at the Crookham Company seed operation in Caldwell.

Occupational Safety and Health Administrators were on the scene Thursday and daily operations at the plant had been suspended, reported The Idaho Statesman.

The death “was a tragic accident,” said Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris.

Gomez was apparently working alone when the accident happened but discovered moments later, said DeGeus-Morris. Paramedics responded but were unable to save her.

The coroner said Gomez died from blood loss and traumatic asphyxia.

“The family is devastated by the unexpected loss of a beautiful wife, mother, sister and grandmother,” Gomez’ family wrote in a statement provided to KTVB-TV. “We would like to thank everyone for the support during this difficult time. She will be greatly missed.”

Calls to OSHA’s Boise office were not returned Thursday and managers at Crookham Co. could not be immediately reached for comment.

Crookham Co. is a family-owned business that specializes in developing strains of sweet corn, popcorn and onion seeds.

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