United States

Chocolate factory blast in Pennsylvania kills 2; 5 missing

Chocolate factory blast in Pennsylvania kills 2; 5 missing

AFTERMATH. A general view shows smoke coming out from a chocolate factory after fire broke out, in West Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 24, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media. Twitter @Based_In410/via REUTERS

TWITTER @Based_In410 via REUTERS

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency says a probe would be conducted, and that an initial incident report includes reference to a gas leak

An explosion in a chocolate factory in Pennsylvania killed two people, with five others missing as rescue workers search through debris for survivors, emergency services said on Saturday, March 25.

The blast occurred on Friday at the RM Palmer Company plant in West Reading, a town about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) said.

PEMA said an investigation would be conducted to determine the cause of the explosion, and that an initial incident report included reference to a gas leak. Seven other people were transported to local hospitals with injuries, PEMA added.

RM Palmer Company said its email and phone systems were down following the blast and that it was relying on emergency authorities to get in touch with employees and their families.

“We will be providing additional information and making contact with employees, impacted families, and the community as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement.

The company did not provide a cause for the explosion or offer other details.

Images on social media of the explosion’s aftermath showed a vast pile of debris and massive flames letting off large plumes of thick black smoke, in a downtown area surrounded by other buildings.

RM Palmer Company was founded in 1948. It employs some 850 people and creates 500 unique chocolate and candy products, according to its website. – Rappler.com

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