A DAIRY chef was crushed by 15,000 loaves of cheese after a shelf collapsed on him at his factory.
Giacomo Chiapparini, 74, was found buried among his own produce at his warehouse in northern Italy’s Lombardy region.
Thousands of loaves of a hard Parmesan-style cheese – each weighing about 40kg – pounded on the businessman on Sunday evening.
A shelf carrying the heavy dairy products collapsed around 9pm, setting off a deadly domino effect that brought down 15,000 wheels.
Giacomo at that time had been working at the factory in the small town of Romano di Lombardia, near Bergamo.
He is said to have checked the ripening wheels, which were stored on a network of metal shelves up to 10 meters high.
Italian outlet Corriere della Sera reported that he activated a robot that carries out the cleaning process of the maturing cheese.
A 118-strong rescue team consisting of firefighters and paramedics worked all night to find the grandpa.
During the arduous 12-hour mission to locate Giacomo, they had to “move the cheeses and the shelves by hand.”
The body of the award-winning cheesemaker was finally found around 9am the next morning, firefighter Antonio Dusi told AFP.
He leaves behind his beloved wife, two children and several grandchildren.
Italian police officers have now launched an investigation into the freak accident and are trying to reconstruct Giacomo’s final moments.
The warehouse contained a total of 25,000 wheels of Grana Padano, a hard cheese very popular in Italy that is similar to Parmesan.
Giacomo has worked in the industry all his life, his daughter Mary previously said.
The dairy boss worked with his brother as sharecroppers on his father’s farm before buying his own farm in 1977.