Explosion at Pennsylvania chocolate factory leaves 7 dead

March 27, 2023
The blast, which occurred at the R.M. Palmer Co. facility, destroyed one building, damaged another, and sent 10 people to the hospital.

An explosion at a chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania, has killed seven people. The blast, which occurred at the R.M. Palmer Co. facility, destroyed one building, damaged another, and sent 10 people to the hospital. According to WPVI-TV/6abc, rescue crews had used various methods to search for victims, including thermal imaging, trained dogs, and heavy machinery to move debris.

R.M. Palmer released a statement on their website that read: "Everyone at RM Palmer is devastated by the tragic events at one of our West Reading facilities and we are focused on supporting our employees and their families. We have lost close friends and colleagues, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all who have been impacted. We are sincerely grateful for the extraordinary efforts of all of the first responders and for the support of our Reading community, which has been home to our business for more than 70 years. We will continue to coordinate closely with local and national agencies to assist in the recovery process.

We are anxious to be in touch with all employees and the families of employees who have been impacted, but the company's email, phones, and other communication systems are down, and therefore we are relying currently on first responders and disaster recovery organizations to provide any available information to impacted families. We will be providing additional information and making contact with employees, impacted families, and the community as soon as possible."

The company also posted on its Facebook page, saying, “We have always viewed our employees as family, and are focused now more than ever on providing any support we can to you and the families of employees directly affected by this tragedy. As we work to identify all those in need, we have established the following crisis hotline for anyone who needs support.

We will also be offering grief counseling to all employees who would like such assistance, and will provide information as soon as it is available.”

Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the explosion.

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