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Every McDonald's in This Nation Shuttered for 2 Days

After 2 teen employees were electrocuted in Lima, Peru
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2019 4:33 AM CST

(Newser) – Every McDonald's in Peru shut down for two days this week to mourn two teen workers who died while working a night shift over the weekend. The bodies of 18-year-old Gabriel Campos Zapata and Alexandra Porras Inga, 19, were found by emergency workers in the Lima restaurant Sunday morning. It appears the two were electrocuted, though exactly how is still murky: The New York Times reports the two were electrocuted by a loose cable, while, per the BBC and Guardian, cops say Porras Inga received an electric shock from a beverage machine, and Campos Zapata was killed when he tried to help her. Porras Inga's family thinks she may have been shocked while washing the floor: The teen's mother tells the Times that after she got a phone call telling her Porras Inga had died, she rushed to the restaurant and could see her daughter's body on a wet floor, with loose cables nearby.

"We share the sorrow and extreme pain of the affected families," Arcos Dorados, the firm that operates McDonald's franchises in much of Latin America, said in a statement announcing the nationwide closure. The teens' deaths have renewed calls for better workplace safety in Peru, with other young workers sharing their own stories of perilous working conditions online. A McDonald's legal rep told local reporters the company was cooperating with police and had granted access to the site, but firefighters and security employees said when they arrived on the scene Sunday, they weren't allowed to enter the building, the Guardian notes. The country's workplace safety agency says a 30-day probe will be held. One labor attorney's reaction: "Two employees die working a shift at a place of work—there's no doubt it was a work accident. There's no need for a 30-day investigation." (Read more McDonald's stories.)

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