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Man dies after tragically being crushed by thousands of huge cheese wheels in Italy

NewsMan dies after tragically being crushed by thousands of huge cheese wheels in Italy

An elderly Italian man described as “supportive” and “generous” has been tragically crushed to death under 25,000 wheels of Grana Padano cheese, authorities have said.

Giacomo Chiapparini, 74, owned a dairy and cheese factory in Romano di Lombardia in northern Italy and the accident took place in his warehouse.

One of the shelves holding the cheese broke, creating a domino effect where wheels of ripening cheese came tumbling down and crushed him – each wheel weighing about 40kg.

The warehouses normally stack thousands of cheese wheels which remain there until they each reach the right level of maturity.

Grana Padano is a type of hard cheese which rivals the famous Parmigiano Reggiano.

According to Euronews, local media reported emergency services worked all night to rescue the man, but the hope of finding him alive diminished.

It took 12 hours to find Mr Chiapparini’s body and local police are trying to investigate what led to the shelving collapse. 

The Italian man had been checking on the ripening wheels which were stored on metal shelves the highest which stood at 10 metres.

He was described as a “very supportive” and “generous” man by locals. 

The economic damage caused is said to be €7m (£6m). Local cheese factories are now trying to save the fallen cheese wheels and Italian newspaper Il Giorno reports it is a “fight against time” to find a secure place to avoid the cheese being wasted.

It is reported that when the region of Emilia Romagna suffered an earthquake in 2012, Mr Chiapparini kindly offered his colleagues a space to store their cheese wheels in his facilities after they lost theirs to the disaster.

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