Woman mashed by potato chipper in horror death after falling onto conveyor belt

A young woman died after she fell into an industrial potato chipper at work, before being crushed by the engine mount.

Rafaela Alves dos Santos, 24, was killed in the horrific accident at her workplace in Perdizes, south-eastern Brazil, in the early hours of November 17.

The young woman fell onto the conveyor belt that carried potatoes to be chopped into chips, but got crushed by the engine mount, suffering major head trauma in the incident.

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Rafaela – who hailed from Santa Luzia do Itanhy in impoverished north-eastern Brazil – was whizzed at speed towards the engine mount after the machine, which had been off, switched on automatically.

That's according to a co-worker who was stood beside her at the time.

Other workers responsible for operations at the factory are reportedly unable to explain why the machine automatically switched on when it did.

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 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.

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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 November 19.

The investigation into her death is ongoing.

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