Man Killed By Falling Cheese

( – The owner of a massive cheese factory was killed when giant wheels of his product fell off shelves at the warehouse, crushing him to death on the evening of Sunday, August 6th.

Giacomo Chiapparini, 74, specialized in the production of Gran Padrano, an aged hard cheese similar to parmesan that is popular in Italy. He was in his warehouse on Sunday managing his 15,000 cheese wheels as they aged when the thirty-foot-high shelves collapsed. The catastrophic failure led to multiple shelves failing, burying Chiapparini under hundreds of wheels.

The wheels themselves are massive 44-pound rolls of hard cheese. Bortolo Ghislotti is a friend and neighbor of the Chiapparinis. He said that an alarm on Sunday had indicated a machine that cleans and rotates the wheels went off, triggering Chipparini and his son to go fix the problem at the warehouse. Once they had addressed the issue, they restarted the machinery and shortly thereafter the shelves collapsed.

Chiapparini’s son heard the collapse which he described as a massive noise, and then saw all the fallen wheels of cheese on top of where his father had been moments before. Had he been delayed by a few seconds he would have been buried as well.

The fire brigade and emergency medical were called and arrived within minutes of the accident, but there was nothing they could do to save Chipparini.

A spokesman for the local fire brigade Daniele Retto said that they spent hours moving cheese wheels before eventually calling for a search and rescue group that specializes in removing victims from the rubble. It wasn’t until the morning of the next day that they were able to locate Chipparini’s body.

Ghislotti had called the tragedy inexplicable. He is also the president of a local farming district and said never has anything like this happened to his knowledge. They had a similar collapse in the past during a major 2012 earthquake that knocked cheese to the ground, but no one was ever injured.

Officials will investigate what led to the collapse of the shelving and whether Chipparini was killed by the impact of being crushed by the cheese or asphyxiated while buried beneath them.

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