On Friday afternoon, there was a huge explosion at a chocolate factory in Pennsylvania. Authorities have confirmed that two people are dead and five people have suffered from injuries. One person was rescued overnight from the rubble, on Saturday. Rescue crews are using dogs and specialized equipment to search through the rubble and they hope to find more survivors.
On Friday afternoon just before 5 p.m., there was a massive blast at the R.M. Palmer Co. plant in West Reading. The county officials said that they could only confirm two fatalities. Earlier county emergency management officials had said that there were five fatalities. However, the county later provided an update that said that two persons had died and that five persons were missing.
NEW – Massive explosion reported in a factory that produces chocolate in Reading, Pennsylvania pic.twitter.com/wqyr9Kzh9r– Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) March 24, 2023
Chief of Police Wayne Holben commented that the rescue of one person on Saturday “provides hope that others still may be found.” A thorough search continued through the rubble in the chocolate plant and rescue workers are using specialized equipment and techniques to look for signs of life as they carefully remove the debris.
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The police chief confirmed that one building was destroyed in the blast while a neighboring building suffered damage. They are investigating the cause. Officials said that Palmer building No. 2 was destroyed while Palmer building No.1 suffered damage.
According to Philip Wert, the vice president of the West Reading council, the building had been constructed in the late nineteen fifties or early nineteen sixties. He said that officials had to access the council’s archives “to pull the blueprints” on Friday night so that they could “get a better layout of the building and the mechanicals and the utilities, where things are”, according to a report in AP.
According to 6abc, the names of those who were killed in the explosion have not been revealed. It also reported that Tower Health said that Reading Hospital received a total of 10 patients, on Saturday.
R. M. Palmer is expected to make a statement, according to officials.
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