Employees of a West Reading chocolate factory and the surrounding community are reeling after a Friday evening explosion that now has been confirmed to have killed seven people as well as injuring several others.
R.M. Palmer, a company which makes candy such as hollow milk chocolate bunnies for Easter, released a statement saying that everyone at the company was devastated by the tragedy.
“We have lost close friends and colleagues, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all those who have been impacted,” the company said in a statement on its website. “We are sincerely grateful for the extraordinary efforts of all the first responders and for the support of our Reading community.”
Gov. Josh Shapiro and members of his administration were on the site during recovery efforts over the weekend.
“This morning, I was with West Reading Mayor Samantha Kaag and local officials for an update on the RM Palmer factory explosion – and to pledge my administration’s support as the community recovers,” said Shapiro. “Lori and I thank the first responders, PEMA, and Pennsylvania State Police teams on the scene. Our hearts break for the families of those who didn’t come home. As West Reading continues to confront this tragedy this morning, the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania stands with this community. We are with you – and my Administration is here to provide all the resources and support West Reading needs.”
He said his administration will continue working closely with local officials and law enforcement to provide support and additional resources to help the ongoing recovery efforts in West Reading.
An investigation into the cause of the explosion will be conducted.d