A young woman suffered an agonising death after she fell into an industrial potato chipper at work.
Rafaela Alves dos Santos, 24, was killed in the horrific accident at her workplace in Perdizes, south-eastern Brazil, in the early hours of 17th November.
According to reports, she fell onto the conveyor belt that carried potatoes to be chopped into chips but got crushed by the engine mount.
Company Bem Brasil Alimentos – which had hired Rafaela through an external company – expressed regret and said it had launched a probe into the incident.
Rafaela – who hailed from Santa Luzia do Itanhy in impoverished north-eastern Brazil – suffered major head trauma in the crush.
Moments before the accident, she had been separating potatoes from organic matter on the conveyor belt.
The potatoes were destined to be turned into frozen chips for supermarkets.
A co-worker who was stood beside her at the time told how the belt was switched off but suddenly turned on automatically, carrying Rafaela at speed towards the engine mount.
Workers responsible for operations at the factory are reportedly unable to explain why the machine automatically switched on when it did.
Rafaela had trained as a nurse technician but had decided to move to Perdizes with her older sister and two cousins in search of a better life in May.
Her mother, Carla Cristina Dias Alves, told local media: “She was going after her future, she was going after her dreams, to work in her field and take care of me.”
Carla added: “Rafaela was my darling. My other daughters were jealous, because we had a very extraordinary connection. She was an affectionate, self-assured girl who loved to dress up, buy shoes, clothes, perfume.
“Every morning she texted me, ‘Good morning, my love.’ Today I didn’t get her good morning.”
Carla said she learned of her daughter’s death through local media and not via Bem Brasil Alimentos or the company she was hired through.
Rafaela was buried in her hometown on 19th November.
The investigation into her death is ongoing.