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An assembly robot has killed an external contractor at a Volkswagen plant in Germany. According to reports, the technician was part of a team setting up the robot at the automaker’s Kassel plant when it reportedly struck him in the chest and crushed him against a metal plate. He later succumbed to his injuries.

Investigations as to how the accident occurred are underway, though initial findings indicate that human error was to blame for the mishap rather than a problem with the robot, which was operating behind the confines of a safety cage. Another technician was present but outside the cage, and was not harmed.

A spokesperson for the automaker said the robot was not a new-generation colloborative robot that works side-by-side with workers on a production line, adding that the unit – which grabs auto parts and manipulates them – had no known technical defect.

The reports added that German prosecutors were considering whether to bring charges, and if so, against whom.