All McDonald’s branches in Peru closed their doors for at least two days to allow employees to mourn two workers who were electrocuted at the restaurant in the country’s capital.
Alexandra Porras Inga, 19, and Gabriel Campos Zapata, 18, were working the overnight shift at a McDonald’s in the middle-class district of Pueblo Libre in Lima.
While cleaning the kitchen on Sunday, the two teenagers were electrocuted by a loose cable, the New York Times reported.
Police said Porras suffered an electric shock from a drink machine and when Campos went to help her, he also was electrocuted.
Emergency services found both teenagers dead at the fast-food eatery.
Porras’ mother told the Times that after receiving news of the incident, she rushed to the restaurant and could see wet floors, loose cables and her daughter’s body. Her daughter did not appear to be wearing boots, gloves or other safety gear, she said.
In a statement on Monday, McDonald’s operating company in Peru, Arcos Dorados, announced that all branches would close for a two-day mourning period.
“We share the sorrow and extreme pain of the affected families,” the company said, adding that it was cooperating fully with authorities in the investigation.
The deaths have rattled Peru, with protesters calling for better work conditions in a country that has grown tremendously in the last decade. Critics say jobs have left workers – particularly young workers – open to exploitation and poor conditions, the Times reported.
Peru’s workplace safety department said it is investigating the conditions of the Lima restaurant. If violations are found, the fast-food chain could face up to $56,000 in fines.