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StarKist fish technician injured during her shift released from LBJ

Dr. Akapusi Ledua

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A StarKist Samoa employee has been discharged from the LBJ hospital after treatment following an incident at her work place on Wednesday afternoon July 9, 2023. Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Maria Gayapa in a brief response during a phone call from Samoa News confirmed, saying “She’s been discharged.”

A co-worker of the injured person, said she works with her on the same shift — daytime — and she saw the incident, which occurred towards the end of their shift.

The co-worker noted that injured worker is from Savaii and is 21 years old.

LBJ Chief Executive Officer Dr Ledua Akapusi told KVZK-TV that  the female employee was brought into LBJ by EMS. She had lost two fingers, and was taken to the operating room. It was also reported that the injured woman was a fish technician (cleaner).

On Thursday afternoon, Aug. 10, Samoa News was told by the Acting CMO that the young woman had been released.

Samoa News was unable to confirm if the young woman’s fingers were re-attached, or if she had permanently lost them.

One of the senior workers at StarKist told KVZK-TV that “the machines were not working, and while she pushed fish down the bin, the machinery started [up] and took two of her fingers.”

Efforts to get comments from StarKist Samoa have been unsuccessful.

Most people working for the StarKist Samoa are from the Independent State of Samoa, working through the Special Workers Permit program, which allows Samoan workers to enter, earn locally and send money home.