A worker died this week at a paper recycling facility in Minneapolis after suffering injuries involving heavy machinery, authorities said.

Simon Barrera Merino, 42, of Richfield, was injured about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday at Pioneer Industries International in the 100 block of N. Irving Avenue, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Merino suffered head and chest injuries from a "workplace injury involving a forklift," authorities said in a statement, and was declared dead at the scene.

Authorities had not offered specifics about how the injuries occurred. Messages were left Friday with a company executive for details.

Merino's niece, Gabriela Guardado Barrera, has started an online fundraising campaign to return his body to Mexico for burial.

"My uncle was a loving father to 2 daughters, he was a loving husband, he was kind, caring, he loved helping others," Barrera wrote on the fundraising page.

"My family & I are asking for donations to not only cover the funeral cost but also, send his body to Puebla, Mexico where my grandmother will bury him," the post continued. "My uncle expressed that whenever he passed away, he wanted to go back home."

Pioneer, based in suburban Chicago, has operated in Minneapolis since 1894 and at the Irving Avenue site since the mid-1960s, company executive Mark Elsbernd said. It also has operations in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The Star Tribune is among Pioneer's clients.