McDonald’s closed its restaurants across Peru for two days this week to mourn the deaths of two teenage workers, the company announced on Twitter. The teens, Alexandra Porras Inga and Gabriel Campos Zapata, died in an “accident” at a restaurant in the capital of Lima, the company that runs McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America told CBS News on Wednesday.
The company, Acros Dorados, said earlier this week it would close all 29 of its restaurants in the country for Monday and Tuesday. “We share the sorrow and extreme pain of the affected families of Carlos Gabriel Edgardo Campos Zapata y Alexandra Antonella Porras Inga for this terrible loss,” the company said in a statement.
“The police took control of the scene, and the accident currently remains under active investigation – we take this matter incredibly seriously and remain committed to creating a safe work environment for all our colleagues,” they added. “We continue to work in collaboration with the authorities to expedite the investigation and provide closure to the family members as soon as possible.”
— McDonald’s Perú (@McDonalds_PER) December 17, 2019
Police said Porras Inga, 19, suffered an electric shock from a drinks machine and Campos Zapata, 18, was electrocuted when he tried to help her, BBC News reported.
Peru’s National Superintendency of Labor Inspection said that if Arcos Dorados was found to have any responsibility for failing to implement safety and health requirements on the job, they would be penalized. The agency said Arcos Dorados would be fined 189,000 soles ($56,000 USD).
The incident has struck a nerve throughout the country as young Peruvians have been protesting poor and exploitative working conditions since their deaths.
Arcos Dorados is the largest McDonald’s franchise operator in Latin America, overseeing more than 2,200 restaurants and over 90,000 employees in the region.