An Italian cheesemaker died on Sunday after being crushed by thousands of rounds of Grana Padano cheese in the ripening room of his factory in Bergamo, northern Italy, local authorities said.
Giacomo Chiapparini, 74, had entered the ripening room to check the automatic robot used to clean cheese rounds during the ripening process at his company’s warehouse, according to the Bergamo carabinieri.
At the time of his death, there were about 10 aisles of floor-to-ceiling racks with approximately 1,600 cartridges per aisle.
It is not clear how the initial collapse occurred, leading to what authorities describe as a “domino effect”, which led to the disappearance of the cheesemaker.
Carabinieri officials, along with the fire brigade and two ambulance services and other local authorities, say they were called to the scene around 9 p.m. local time Sunday (3 p.m. ET).
It took more than 11 hours to find Chiapparini’s body under the cheese slices.
He was identified by his family, who lives and works at the cheese factory, the Carabinieri spokesman said. His funeral will be held on Thursday.
The Chiapparini factory was founded in the late 1970s and produces around 15,000 Grana Padano cheese wheels each year with milk from the cows raised at the factory, according to the company’s website. The cheese is aged between 12 and 70 months.