An Italian cheesemaker died on Sunday after being crushed by thousands of rounds of Grana Padano cheese in the aging room of his factory in Bergamo, northern Italy, local authorities said.
Giacomo Chiapparini, 74, had entered the aging room to check the automatic robot used to clean the cheese rounds during the aging process in his company’s warehouse, according to the Bergamo Carabinieri.
At the time of his death, there were about 10 corridors of floor-to-ceiling shelves with approximately 1,600 rounds per corridor.
It is unclear how the initial collapse that led to what authorities describe as a “domino effect” occurred, leading to the cheesemaker’s demise.
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 on Sunday (3 p.m. ET).
It took more than 11 hours to find Chiapparini’s body under the cheese rounds.
He was identified by his family, who live and work in the cheese factory, the Carabinieri spokesperson said. His funeral will be held on Thursday.
Chiapparini’s factory was founded in the late 1970s and produces around 15,000 wheels of Grana Padano cheese each year using milk from the cows raised at the factory, according to the company website. The cheese is aged between 12 and 70 months.