... this is the second part of two scripts, the first writes the file this one reads at an earlier point, the one with '|' as divider so at least that is unlikely.
In my experience, a statement like "that is unlikely" doesn't suffice for debugging the sort of problem you're having. Only testing will suffice. Test the output of that first script for the data set in question, and confirm that every record matches /\S\|\S/ .
You can also create a small test set of data for input to the OP script, include a record that does not match that regex, and see what happens. If it blows up, that's a good cue for adding some defensive code in the OP script, to do something sensible when such data comes in (skip the record or die, with a suitable message to stderr).
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