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Tragedy at the Ca’ di Rajo winery, the death caught on video: the hypothesis of a faulty pressure gauge

There’s a video which immortalises the moment in which first Alberto Pin and then Marco Bettollini entered through a small hatch of the autoclave where, on Thursday afternoon, the tragedy occurred.

It was recorded by the video surveillance system of the Ca’ di Rajo winery in San Polo and on Friday morning it was acquired and viewed by the police.

This is a very important film, on an investigative level, both to clarify the dynamics of the tragedy and to understand what could have driven an expert employee like Pinaware of the risk to which he was exposing himself, to enter the autoclave through a narrow trapdoor located on the side of the gigantic tank.

Accident at the Ca’ di Rajo winery in San Polo di Piave: one winemaker dead and one seriously injured in the autoclave

Federico Cipolla and Alessandro Viezzer

14 September 2023

The video of the tragedy

A first, rather well-founded hypothesis is that Pin decided to enter the autoclave after noticing the malfunction of the wine quantity meter.

Despite being aware of the risks linked to the presence of nitrogen, a gas that is used to prevent the liquid from evaporating, Pin entered the tank, probably counting on resolving the issue in a few moments. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Fatal accident in the cellar: “Impossible to understand why the worker entered the autoclave”


The Bassano winemaker, realizing that something was wrong, in turn entered the autoclave to save his colleague, but his misfortune was that he immediately lost consciousness due to the high concentration of nitrogen and was ended up with his face at the bottom of the autoclave where there was a residue of sparkling wine.

The autopsy

Whether Bettollini died from drowning or asphyxiation will be established by the autopsy that the Treviso Public Prosecutor’s Office will carry out in the next few days, most likely on Monday.

Accident at work at the Ca’ di Rajo winery, our video reconstruction


On the investigation front, the public prosecutor Giovanni Valmassoi ordered, as the first investigative measure, the seizure of the autoclave where the tragedy occurred (the notification reached the legal representative of Ca’ di Rajo, Sandra De Giusti, mother of the Cecchetto brothers who actually manage the business). But it is early, for the moment, to talk about suspects. The prosecutor is waiting for the first investigative documents from the Carabinieri and Spisal technicians to arrive on his table.

The chief prosecutor Marco Martani speaks: «From the information gathered so far by the judicial police – explains Martani – no one should have entered that autoclaveas the maintenance work is entrusted to a specialized external company equipped with masks and systems that would have prevented the risk of gas poisoning.

From an investigative point of view it is important to delve into the reason why the two employees entered the tank”.

The investigation

At the moment there are no suspects but it is obvious that an investigation into such a serious accident at work will inevitably lead to the inclusion of some names in the register for manslaughter. Martani himself confirms: «It is clear that the warranty notices will be notified to those who find themselves in the position of having to guarantee safety in the workplace».

In other words to legal representatives and any persons responsible for the company’s safety. «The registration of the suspects in the register – explains Martani – is an act of guarantee for any technical checks that will be carried out during the investigations (expert reports and autopsy, ed).

This does not mean that those who will be investigated have real responsibilities if it is proven that the tragedy was caused by an absolutely unpredictable initiative on the part of the victims.

It will be a different matter if responsibility is ascertained on the part of those who had a position of control by the company over such a dangerous activity as that of entering an autoclave”.

In the meantime, no big news has arrived from the Treviso hospital, where Pin is hospitalized. The 31-year-old worker from the San Polo winery remains hospitalized in an induced coma in the intensive care unit of Ca’ Foncello.

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