US Chocolate Factory Blast Kills Several In Pennsylvania
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WEST READING, USA (Worthy News) – At least three people died, and four were still missing after a suspected gas explosion destroyed a chocolate factory in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, authorities said.
In addition, some ten people were reported injured and hospitalized following Friday’s blast at the R.M. Palmer Company in the town of West Reading, 96 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of Philadelphia.
Among those injured was a woman discovered beneath the rubble of the destroyed factory complex, witnesses said.
The employee reportedly worked on the second floor and was found in the basement.
She was transported to a hospital, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether she remained in critical condition, according to officials involved in the operation.
Her rescue offered “hope of finding even more survivors,” said police chief Wayne Holben.
Holben added that rescuers were using sniffer dogs and equipment to find more people under the rubble after the blaze destroyed one building and damaged another.
“It’s pretty leveled,” Mayor Samantha Kaag said of the explosion site. “The building in the front, with the church and the apartments, the explosion was so big that it moved that building 4 feet forward.”
The fire brigade suggested that a gas leak may have caused the explosion but investigations were still ongoing.
The chocolate factory was founded in 1948 and employs about 850 people making it the largest employer in this town of roughly 4,000 people.
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