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Italian Cheesemaker Crushed by Thousands of Wheels of Cheese

Italian Cheese Maker Tragically Perishes in Warehouse Accident, Family Races to Rreserve Stock

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A tragic accident took place this week in Italy when a cheese maker lost his life after thousands of cheese wheels collapsed onto him in his storage facility.

74-year-old Giacomo Chiapparini was inspecting his inventory on Sunday evening when a storage shelf gave way, causing a cascade of up to 15,000 cheese wheels, with each weighing nearly 84 pounds, according to the BBC.

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Following reports from neighbors who described hearing a noise resembling “thunder” from the facility, firefighters were dispatched.

The search for Chiapparini was extensive, taking 12 hours before they found him.

Fire brigade representatives informed AFP that Chiapparini might have used machinery to turn and clean the cheese wheels, which might have destabilized the shelf.

Although a full inquiry will shed light on the exact cause of the incident, local officials suspect equipment malfunction.

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Located in Lombardy, the Chiapparini storage facility housed 25,000 wheels of Grana Padano, a cheese akin to Parmesan.

The disaster led to an economic setback of approximately $7.7 million.

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In addition to mourning their family’s patriarch, the Chiapparinis now face the challenge of salvaging their remaining cheese stock.

Given that cheese needs to be stored under specific climate conditions, the rising summer temperatures pose a threat to their remaining inventory.

Bortolo Ghislotti, head of the area’s agricultural sector, shared with Italian publication Il Giorno, “The family is in shock, especially his wife Angela and their two children.”

Ghislotti made an appeal for assistance, seeking colleagues who might help store the remaining cheese to prevent further wastage.

Ghislotti drew parallels between this incident and a 2012 earthquake in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region.

That quake had severely affected the Parmigiano-Reggiano consortium’s storage facilities, damaging cheese worth over $200 million.

During that crisis, Chiappriani had stepped in, taking 10,000 cheese wheels to curtail the enormous losses.

Having been in the cheese-making business since 2006, as the New York Post highlighted, Chiappriani was a dedicated worker.

Neighbors recall him working diligently, day and night, to sustain his family, including his wife, children, and grandchildren, who now mourn his loss.

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