By John Ensor •
Updated: 08 Aug 2023 • 8:45
Rack of Grano Padano cheeses.
Credit: Consorzio Tutela Grano Padano/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
How did 25,000 wheels of Grana Padano Cheese cause the death of a 75-year-old entrepreneur?
It has been reported that on Sunday, August 6, a total of 25,000 wheels of Grana Padano cheese fell in the warehouse of a cheese factory in Romano di Lombardia, Bergamo, crushing the owner, 75-year-old farmer Giacomo Chiapparini. The tragic incident unfolded due to the shelving collapse, though the actual causes remain unknown, according to Il Corriere della Citta.
The immediate response to the incident saw about twenty fire brigades from the Bergamo command post and the detachments of Romano di Lombardia, Treviglio and Dalmine, the Carabinieri, and 118 vehicles rush to the scene.
The search for the elderly man was time-consuming, as rescuers had to painstakingly remove the massive quantities of cheese. As the search continued, any hope of finding the elderly businessman diminished due to the quantity and weight of the cheese involved. According to reports: ‘The fall of the first shelf, which was up to the ceiling, caused a deadly domino effect and the man was swept away without a chance.’
The following day, on Monday, August 7, the lifeless body of Giacomo Chiapparini was found after a night-long search by around 20 members of the emergency services including the fire brigade.
Now the focus has turned to the Carabinieri and Ats Bergamo, as they investigate the devastating ‘domino effect’ that led to the collapse of the shelves, which saw a total of 25,000 wheels fall over an area of two thousand square metres. Along with the heartbreaking loss of life, the considerable economic damage to the dairy is also being probed.
The precise fault that triggered the event remains to be uncovered; it could potentially be a defect in the system that handled the cheeses, which Mr Chiapparini was operating at the time.
The incident has left the community in shock, and the answers to the questions surrounding the cause of this unprecedented accident remain elusive. The dairy community, family, and friends mourn the loss of a respected farmer, as investigators work diligently to uncover the truth behind this unthinkable tragedy.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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