Two dead, five missing after explosion at chocolate factory in Pennsylvania
Written by ABC Audio All Rights Reserved on March 26, 2023
(WEST READING, Pa.) — Two people are dead, five are missing and multiple others are injured after an explosion at a chocolate factory Friday in West Reading, Pennsylvania, police and city officials said.
One person was found alive overnight in the rubble. Eight people are in the hospital but their conditions are unknown, according to officials.
“Rescue workers continue to search for any other possible survivors. The discovery of life overnight … provides hope that others still may be found,” Mayor Samantha Kaag said at a press conference Saturday.
Officials do not yet know what caused the explosion.
The explosion occurred around 4:57 p.m. at the RM Palmer Company in West Reading, located about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
Teams are still searching through the rubble, according to West Reading Police Chief Wayne Holben.
The explosion caused destruction to one building nearby and damaged another.
Kaag, a former volunteer firefighter, called the incident “pretty scary,” adding that the explosion was so strong it pushed a building back four feet. She said the factory building was “pretty leveled” and crews will “probably” be working through the weekend to clear the debris.
Images of the scene showed smoke and flames billowing from the factory on Friday evening.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.