Explosion at West Reading’s Chocolate Factory Results in Two Fatalities, Nine Missing People, and Eight Hospitalizations

A chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania exploded late on a Friday, killing two and leaving nine others missing. At this time, Reading Hospital is caring for eight patients. The hospital reports that two patients were admitted in “fair” condition, one patient was moved, and the remaining patients will be discharged.

A major explosion rocked the R.M. Palmer Company in West Reading at 4:57 p.m. Chief Wayne Holben of the West Reading Borough Police Department reported that the explosion destroyed building No. 2 at 55 S 2nd Avenue and damaged Palmer building No. 1 at 77 S 2nd Avenue.

According to West Reading Mayor Samantha Kaag, the blast pushed the structure four feet forward and completely flattened it. The explosion’s cause is still being looked into. Chief Holben said the borough is advising residents to stay away from the area even though there is currently no threat to the neighborhood.

Chocolate Factory Explosion
Chocolate Factory Explosion

Kaag has stated that teams will be working through the night and the weekend to get the situation under control. The names of the victims and those who were hospitalized are now being withheld from the public.

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