Spain: 35-year-old man dies in controlled atmosphere chamber intended for pears

A tragedy occurred around noon on 30 October in the Spanish municipality of Calahorra. A 35-year-old man died in the premises of the company Aljofer after entering a controlled atmosphere chamber intended for the prolonged storage of Conference pears. Roberto G.B., a native of Andosilla and a resident of Calahorra, had a four-year-old girl and a wife who will give birth to their second child early next year.

The alarm was raised by his own family. Around two o'clock in the afternoon, the family of his wife was surprised about the fact that the young man had not come for lunch, as he did every day. His father-in-law decided to go to the fruit warehouse where he worked to look for him and when he saw that his car was parked in front of the door, he went inside to look for him.

"Apparently, he saw that the chamber's trapdoor was open and suspected that something serious could have happened and went outside calling for help," explained one of the first people he encountered. With the help of two entrepreneurs from nearby warehouses, he managed to open the chamber and found his son-in-law still alive. "We called 112 and they arrived very quickly. Apparently, he was not yet dead, because they told us they were taking him to Logro " recalled another of the people who helped him get the man out of the chamber before the Civil Guard and the Local Police of the city arrived. The emergency services transferred him to Logro with injuries that were incompatible with life, although he was kept with vital signs for the time necessary to complete the donation of his organs, according to his wish.

In the area, where there are numerous fruit warehouses, the news of the young man's death spread very quickly. What nobody managed to explain yesterday in Calahorra was the reasons that led the young man to enter the controlled atmosphere chamber. "We all know that it is totally forbidden to go inside them because there is really no oxygen. If you have to go in for some reason, which is not usual, you always have to do it in the company of someone, never alone," commented another worker from a similar warehouse located nearby. "He may have been too confident, because he had only been working at the company for two months," speculated another worker.

Meanwhile, the Civil Guard and later technicians from the Rioja Institute of Occupational Health of La Rioja approached the company's facilities to investigate the causes of what is the sixth fatal workplace accident of the year in the region.


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