Two people have died and nine others are reportedly unaccounted for after a massive explosion at a chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania early Friday evening.
At least eight people were admitted to Reading Hospital.
The explosion reportedly occurred around 5 p.m. at the RM Palmer Company and caused an enormous fire afterward.
Multiple people were inside the factory during the explosion.
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Here’s footage of the horrific explosion:
“A massive explosion [in a factory that produces chocolate] rocked the Reading skyline on Friday evening, sending debris flying through the air and triggering a multi-alarm fire.” pic.twitter.com/KAwte0kB6e
— Shane B. Murphy (@shanermurph) March 24, 2023
Chocolate factory exploding in West Reading, Pennsylvania
Thick smoke filled the air and debris covered the streets after an explosion at the R.M. Palmer Company in West Reading.
It happened just before 5 p.m. Friday.
Move along. pic.twitter.com/oPDtH7EMi1
— Dane (@UltraDane) March 25, 2023
READING EXPLOSION: A massive explosion rocked the Reading skyline on Friday evening, sending debris flying through the air and triggering a multi-alarm fire.
MORE: https://t.co/40KySY3P1Q pic.twitter.com/YrClPxsxZp
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) March 24, 2023
NBC 10 Philadelphia reported:
Two people are dead and there are nine people still unaccounted for after an explosion at a chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania late Friday afternoon.
Eight people have been admitted to Reading Hospital. Two were admitted in “fair” condition, one patient was transferred and all others will be discharged, according to the hospital.
At approximately 4:57 p.m. a large explosion occurred at the R.M Palmer Company in West Reading. The explosion resulted in the destruction of building No. 2 located at 55 S 2nd Avenue and damaging neighboring Palmer building No. 1 located at 77 S 2nd Avenue, Chief of Police at the West Reading Borough Police Department Wayne Holben said.
The Mayor of West Reading, Samantha Kaag, said the building where the explosion occurred was leveled and the force of the explosion moved the building four feet forward.
The cause of the explosion is currently under investigation. While there is no danger to the surrounding area at this time, Chief Holben said the borough is urging residents to avoid the area.
CBS Philadelphia noted:
The Pa. Emergency Management Agency said earlier Friday that six people were hurt, seven others are still missing, and six people were taken to receive medical attention.
UGI officials were on the scene with first responders.
The mayor is heartened by her communities’ quick and all-hands-on-deck response to the tragedy.
“A lot of the community is taken care of and handled,” Kaag said.
As of Friday night, officials had not been in contact with anyone from RM Palmer.
Now, while the investigation into the cause of the explosion continues, so does the rescue operation with nine people still unaccounted for.
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