On Friday evening, a tragedy occurred at the RM Palmer Company, a chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania. A large explosion followed by a four-alarm fire claimed the lives of two people and injured several others, with nine individuals still unaccounted for. Witnesses reported hearing the factory explosion and seeing flames shortly after, with the fire believed to have been caused by a gas leak, though officials are still investigating. While the investigation continues, the rescue operation is ongoing. Officials have not released the victims' names or conditions.
The explosion caused extensive damage to the factory and surrounding buildings. Mayor Samantha Kaag, a firefighter herself, was on the scene and described the damage as "pretty leveled" and "pretty scary." The explosion moved one neighboring building four feet forward and caused damage to another. Despite the destruction, officials say there is no danger to the community and no evacuations are necessary.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, and officials have not yet released the names of the victims. The incident is a tragic reminder of the dangers of working in industrial plants and the importance of safety measures to prevent such tragedies.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the community during this difficult time.