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Italian man dies after being crushed by falling wheels of cheese

A man died after being crashed by thousands of cheese wheel in Italy last week.
A man died after being crashed by thousands of cheese wheel in Italy last week. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Euronews, AFP
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A total of 25,000 wheels of Grana Padano cheese fell on 75-year-old Giacomo Chiapparini after a shelf broke in his warehouse on Sunday.


An Italian man was crushed to death when thousands of wheels of ripening Grana Padano - a type of hard cheese which rivals the famous Parmigiano Reggiano - fell on him in his warehouse on Sunday.

Giacomo Chiapparini, the 75-year-old owner of a dairy and cheese factory in Romano di Lombardia, near the northern city of Bergamo, was in his warehouse when one of the shelves holding the cheese broke, creating a domino effect that brought down more shelves and, crucially, more wheels. 

These warehouses are normally stacked to the rooftop with thousands of cheese wheels, which remain there for months before reaching the right level of maturity.

In total, local media reported that 25,000 cheese wheels fell over Chiapparini. Emergency services worked through the night to rescue the man, but the hope of finding him alive waned as the hours passed. His body was found on Monday.

Local police have launched an investigation into the accident, trying to understand what led to the shelf's collapse and Chiapparini's death. 

Meanwhile, local cheese factories have mobilised to save the cheese wheels fallen in the accident, with the Italian newspaper Il Giorno reporting on Monday that a "fight against time" is ongoing to find a place to store the cheese and avoid it being wasted.

The damage caused by the accident has been estimated at €7 million, including the destroyed facility.

When the region of Emilia Romagna suffered a devastating earthquake in 2012, Chiapparini offered his colleagues to store their cheese wheels in his facilities after they lost theirs to the catastrophic weather event.

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