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Terrifying moment huge explosion rips apart Pennsylvania chocolate factory – killing two, injuring eight and leaving nine missing

  • Two people were killed, eight were injured and nine are missing after an explosion ripped through a chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Video of the blast sees flames, smoke, dust and debris being sent skywards
  • Tragedy struck the R.M. Palmer Company, which says on its website it has been making candy since 1948

An explosion at a chocolate factory in Pennsylvania on Friday killed two people and left nine missing.

Several other people were injured by the explosion at the R.M. Palmer Co. plant, said West Reading Borough Police Department Chief of Police Wayne Holben, who did not confirm the exact number of injured.

The explosion just before 5pm was all caught on camera. Video footage saw a plume of thick, black smoke into the air, destroying one building and damaging a neighboring building that included apartments.

‘It’s pretty leveled,’ West Reading Borough Mayor Samantha Kaag said of the explosion site. 

The explosion just before 5pm sent flames and a plume of thick, black smoke into the air

The explosion just before 5pm sent flames and a plume of thick, black smoke into the air

Moments before the blast, everything appeared completely calm in in West Reading

Moments before the blast, everything appeared completely calm in in West Reading

‘The building in the front, with the church and the apartments, the explosion was so big that it moved that building four feet forward.’

The cause of the blast in the community about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia was under investigation, Holden told reporters.

Eight people were taken to Reading Hospital Friday evening, Tower Health spokeswoman Jessica Bezler said.

Two people were admitted in fair condition and five were being treated and would be released, she said in an email.

One patient was transferred to another facility, but Bezler provided no further details.

Smoke rises from an explosion at the R.M. Palmer Co. plant in West Reading, Pennsylvania

Smoke rises from an explosion at the R.M. Palmer Co. plant in West Reading, Pennsylvania 

The blasted destroyed one building and damaged a neighboring building that included apartments

The blasted destroyed one building and damaged a neighboring building that included apartments

Smoke can be seen lingering in the air in the hours following the blast in West Reading

Smoke can be seen lingering in the air in the hours following the blast in West Reading

Kaag said people were asked to move back about a block in each direction from the site of the explosion but no evacuations were ordered.

Dean Murray, the borough manager of West Reading Borough, said some residents were displaced from the damaged apartment building.

Kagg said borough officials were not in immediate contact with officials from R.M. Palmer, which Murray described as ‘a staple of the borough.’

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The company’s website says it has been making ‘chocolate novelties’ since 1948 and now has 850 employees at its West Reading headquarters.

Tragedy struck the R.M. Palmer Company, which says on its website it has been making candy since 1948

Tragedy struck the R.M. Palmer Company, which says on its website it has been making candy since 1948

Smoke could be seen billowing into the air even from some distance away

Smoke could be seen billowing into the air even from some distance away 



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