A Robot At A Volkswagen Plant Crushed A Worker To Death

Offbeat

A scary reminder that auto plants are still dangerous.

A 22-year-old man died this week after the robot he was setting up at a Volkswagen plant killed him. The incident took place at a VW factory in the town of Baunatal, which is about 60 miles north of Frankfurt. The robot grabbed the man, crushing him against a metal plate while a horrified colleague watched. Volkswagen spokesman Heiko Hillwig said human error was to blame. "It normally operates within a confined area at the plant, grabbing auto parts and manipulating them."

We're speculating here, but it's possible the machine was accidentally turned on and began to do its work, mistaking a human for a piece of material. We should know the whole story soon as German prosecutors are investigating the incident. Regardless of the outcome the accident is a tragic reminder that car factories are still a dangerous place to work, even if machines do most of the heavy lifting.

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