By John Ensor •
Published: 19 Sep 2023 • 9:29
Stock image of Ca' di Rajo winery. Credit: cadirajo.wines/Instagram.com
A routine task at a winery ended in tragedy after a wine expert was reportedly found dead in a vat of prosecco.
The incident happened on September 14, when a devastating accident occurred at the Ca’di Rajo winery in San Polo di Piave, in northern Italy. Marco Bettolini, a 46-year-old winemaker, tragically lost his life while trying to rescue his colleague, Alberto Pin, 31, from a wine vat, writes The Drinks Business.
Reports suggest that Pin had entered the vat after noticing malfunctioning taps. During maintenance work, he was overcome by carbon dioxide fumes from the fermentation process, causing him to faint. Bettolini, seeing his colleague in distress, followed him into the vat.
Overwhelmed by the toxic fumes, Bettolini experienced dizziness, lost his footing, and subsequently fell. Both men were not equipped with breathing apparatus or safety harnesses at the time, as highlighted by the fire brigade who responded to the emergency. It is commonplace for such wineries to have ventilation systems to prevent the build-up of toxic fumes to avoid such accidents.
Local paper, Tribuna di Treviso, reported that after the incident, Pin was rushed to a hospital. The winery’s owner, Simone Cecchetto, expressed his profound grief in a statement, saying, ‘We are overwhelmed by pain, for us they are two brothers, two sons. My thoughts go to these two men, who grew up with us, and their families.’ The entire community and industry are in mourning, with many expressing their condolences and shock over the tragic event.
This tragic event has reignited concerns about workplace safety in Italy. Recent incidents, including a man’s death caused by falling cheese rounds earlier this summer, have led to increased calls for enhanced safety measures in various industries. The absence of safety equipment during the incident at Ca’di Rajo winery has further intensified the debate on the importance of strict safety protocols.
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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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