Prosecutors are investigating the death of a worker who was crushed by a robotic system he was setting up at a Volkswagen plant in the Kassel district of Germany, authorities and VW said Wednesday.
Heiko Hillwig, a VW spokesman, told the local newspaper Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemeine that the man — who worked for a contractor and was identified only as being from the German state of Saxony — was killed Monday at a plant in the town of Baunatal, north of Frankfurt, where VW is starting a new production line for electric motors.
The robot grabbed the man and pressed him against a metal plate, crushing his chest, Hillwig said. The man was resuscitated but died a short time later at a hospital, he said.
The Kassel regional prosecutor's office said it's investigating whether negligence may have been involved and, if so, who was culpable. The contractor, not VW, operated the facility.
"Then we'll see if — and if so, against whom — charges are to be made," a spokesman for the prosecutor's office told the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
Hillwig said all contractors are required to adhere to VW's workplace safety regulations.