A 74-year-old producer of Grana Padano cheese is dead after he was crushed under the weight of his own cheese wheels in northern Italy.
Giacomo Chiapparini, the owner of a cheese factory was buried under the cheeses when a shelf broke in his warehouse in the northern Lombardy region on Sunday, creating a domino effect which brought down thousands of wheels.
Mr Chiapparini had been checking on the ripening wheels, which were stored on metal shelves, the highest of which stood at 10 metres (33 feet). It is not clear how the first metal shelf collapsed although material fatigue or a technical fault are suspected to be the cause. Officials said they had to move the cheeses and the shelves by hand, adding that it took about 12 hours to finally find Mr Chiapparini's body.
The warehouse, located in the small town of Romano di Lombardia near Bergamo, contained a total of 25,000 wheels of Grana Padano, a hard cheese which resembles Parmesan and is very popular in Italy.
One local resident told Italian media that the sound of the cheese falling was “like thunder,” the BBC reported, and the economic cost of the accident is estimated to be 7 million euros, or $10.3 million., and the economic cost of the accident is estimated to be 7 million euros, or $10.3 million.
Although a mechanical malfunction or wear and tear on the materials could very much likely to be the reason behind the accident, it is however still unclear how the first metal shelf collapsed.