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7 Dead After Chocolate Factory Explosion

More than a dozen people were sent to the hospital as a result of the blast.

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firefighter battling a blaze
Seven people died and more than a dozen were injured after an explosion at the R.M. Palmer Co. chocolate plant.Image courtesy of Pixabay (representative image)

Seven people died and more than a dozen were injured after an explosion at the R.M. Palmer Co. chocolate plant in West Reading, PA late Friday afternoon.

More than a dozen people were sent to the hospital as a result of the blast, which demolished one building and caused three surrounding buildings to be condemned. One of those hospitalized was a woman who was pulled from the rubble overnight Saturday. 

R.M. Palmer Co. released this statement Saturday afternoon:

"Everyone at R.M. Palmer is devastated by tragic events that occurred Friday evening at one of our West Reading facilities. Our focus remains supporting our employees and their families and our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted. We are truly grateful for the extraordinary efforts of all the first responders and emergency personnel and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of support from our local community."

R.M. Palmer employs about 850 people at the West Reading, PA site, and has been in operation since 1948.

An investigation was underway to determine the cause of the explosion.  

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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