Businessman killed by his own cheese

Cheesemaker Giacomo Chiapparini was crushed to death in an avalanche of Grana Padano

Businessman killed by his own cheese

Dairy boss Giacomo Chiapparini was crushed beneath thousands of wheels of Grana Padano

An Italian cheesemaker has been found dead after more than 15,000 wheels of cheese fell from their shelves in his company’s warehouse, Italian media outlets reported on Monday. The 74-year-old man had received multiple awards for his produce.

The tragedy took place in a warehouse at Giacomo Chiapparini’s dairy plant in Romano di Lombardia, near Bergamo, Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported. 

Chiapparini was reportedly inside the warehouse repairing a machine on Sunday evening when a metal shelving unit fell over, triggering a domino effect and knocking over the other nine rows. Chiapparini’s son and several of his employees were alerted by the sound of the collapse and rushed to the warehouse, where they discovered that more than 15,000 wheels of cheese had come crashing to the ground.

Each wheel weighed around 40kg (88lbs), and rescuers worked through the night to remove them by hand, firefighter Antonio Dusi told the AFP news agency.

Chiapparini’s body was found on Monday morning. According to Corriere Della Sera, Chiapparini had been swept 12 meters (39 feet) away from the machine he was working on by the avalanche.

The Chiapparini company has been producing Grana Padano since 2006, and has received several awards for the quality of its produce, the newspaper noted. The company uses milk from its own cows, which is processed, matured, and sold on site at the Romano di Lombardia dairy, where the family also live.

Chiapparini is survived by his wife, two children, and grandchildren.