One person was found alive in the rubble of a chocolate factory explosion in Pennsylvania that killed at least two people and left five missing. WTFX report.
“The discovery of life overnight and the effort to recover overnight gives hope that other life may still be discovered.” West Reading Police Chief Wayne Holben said at a press conference on Saturday morning.
“Rescue workers continue their efforts to thoroughly search the area, utilizing specialized equipment and techniques to look for signs of life,” Holben said, adding that canines and imaging equipment were used in the search. It is being used in recovery efforts, he added.
West Reading Mayor Samantha Kaag declared a state of emergency around 1 a.m. Saturday. She said the declaration was strictly to “access more resources for emergency responders on the ground.”
Holben said an investigation into the Burks County explosion is underway, with forecasts showing heavy cloud cover and rain.
Of the victims taken to Reading Hospital, two were in good condition, one was transferred to another facility and five were discharged.
but, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency reported that five people were killed in the blast, but local officials, including Kaag and Holben, said the figure was inaccurate. According to Kaag and Holben, the current accurate death toll is 2 for him and the number of missing is 5 for him.
“We have had a lot of support from external agencies and we appreciate that,” says Holben. Among the agencies Holben mentioned included the Pennsylvania State Police, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Sheriff’s Office, and other local organizations.
In addition to the factory being “pretty flattened,” as Kaag explained, nearby apartments and a church were also damaged. WPSG report.
“The building in front of the church and the apartment building was so loud that the building was moved four feet forward,” Kaag said.
WTFX weather cameras installed across the street at the Candlewood Suites Hotel captured video of the blast. Chunks of debris can be seen flying in multiple directions, and clouds of smoke quickly obscure most of the view.
RM Palmer CompanyHeadquartered in West Reading, the company employs more than 850 people, according to its LinkedIn page and website.
At a Saturday morning press conference with local authorities, Mayor Holben said RM Palmer will issue its own official statement “soon.” As of about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, the company had yet to issue a statement. website nothing else socializingmediachannel.
RM Palmer did not respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze in time for publication.
See WTFX coverage including aerial footage of the deadly explosion below.
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