All seven Pennsylvania chocolate factory explosion victims found

Chocolate Factory Explosion
Emergency personnel work at the site of a deadly explosion at a chocolate factory in West Reading, Pa., Friday, March 24, 2023. ( Ben Hasty /Reading Eagle via AP) Ben Hasty/AP

All seven Pennsylvania chocolate factory explosion victims found

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All seven victims in Friday’s chocolate factory explosion in a small Pennsylvania town have been recovered.

None of the victims will be named until officials are absolutely sure that all families have been contacted, West Reading Mayor Samantha Kaag said in a statement Sunday night, according to the Associated Press.

MASSIVE EXPLOSION AT PENNSYLVANIA CHOCOLATE FACTORY KILLS 5, LEAVES 2 MISSING

Following the large explosion on Friday, a fire broke out at the R.M. Palmer Company. Thick smoke filled the air, and debris covered the nearby streets. Some victims at the candy factory were unaccounted for late into Sunday until one of them was found around 6:50 p.m. and the other was found at about 8:20 p.m.

Kaag, who is also a firefighter, expressed sorrow over the tragedy, speculated to have been caused by a gas leak, but without confirmation.

“Please understand that this is a devastating loss, but we are truly grateful to bring closure to the families involved in the upcoming days,” Kaag said Sunday night.

Officials had no update on the condition of a woman pulled alive from the rubble early Saturday, with Kaag adding that the woman had apparently been on the second floor and was found in a “hopeful circumstance,” calling for help from rescuers after a dog located her, per the Associated Press. There were also no updates given on the statuses of those injured and taken to hospitals. However, Reading Hospital previously said 10 patients were admitted, two of whom were transferred to other facilities, while two others were admitted in good and fair condition. The others had been discharged.

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R.M. Palmer, the chocolate company, said in a statement Saturday afternoon that everyone at the company was “devastated,” and it was reaching out to employees and their families.

Gov. Josh Shapiro (D-PA) visited the site of the explosion and said the state would be assisting the victims and eastern Pennsylvania town of about 4,500 people.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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