Italian dairy owner crushed to death by cheese wheels

A man in Italy was crushed to death under a pile of cheese wheels. (via PxHere)

We shouldn’t make light of any death, but this one was a bit… cheesy. In Italy, a 74 year old man was found dead under a sizeable pile of cheese wheels. The cheese, stacked high on shelves in a Lombardy region dairy and cheese production facility, toppled over, causing thousands of heavy cheese wheels to crush the unfortunate man.

Giacomo Chiapparini, who owned the farm and cheese production facility, was sadly found after a 12-hour excavation by the rescue units. The massive pile of cheese reportedly had to be moved by hand to recover the body.

A local emergency service worker, Antonion Dusi, confirmed that this tragic occurrence took place when a shelf malfunctioned, sending the collection of cheese wheels tumbling down onto Chiapparini.

The particular storage shelf in question was approximately ten metres high, and the cheese wheels stored on them weighed roughly 40 kilogrammes each.

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An area resident recounted in an interview with Italian media that the crashing cheese wheels sounded like a thunderclap. The cheese had been perched on the high shelf as it ripened, and the unlucky cheese producer had been checking on their progress when the accident occurred.

Meanwhile, seeking to pay tribute, a neighbour described the late Chiapparini as a kind-hearted and generous man. The unexpected cheese avalanche that killed him capped a life that had experienced other tragedy, as neighbours reported the man had lost a child years ago as well.

This unfortunate freak accident not only resulted in a tragic death but also in significant economic damage. The loss caused by the destruction of cheese stored in the facility is estimated to be around 7 million euros, equivalent to over 268 million baht.

Giacomo Chiapparini’s warehouse was filled with Grana Padano cheese, a hard cheese akin to Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan, which is one of Italy’s favoured cheese types. The warehouse in Lombardy housed a staggering total of about 25,000 cheese wheels.

Expressing regret and illustrating the magnitude of the incident, a resident said…

“It was a really shocking event. His kindness will be deeply missed.”

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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