West Reading officials held a press conference Saturday night with more details of the ongoing recovery efforts after Friday’s explosion at the R.M. Palmer Company building located at 17 South 2nd Ave.
West Reading Police Chief Wayne Holben says a third body was recovered from the site and was confirmed deceased.
“Crews are continuing thier diligent efforts in sifting through the debris in order to locate any additional individuals. We would like to express our appreciate for the hard work and dedication of all those individuals in the rescue and recovery operation. Their tireless efforts are greatly appreciated by the entire community.”
Holben continued, “our continuing thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of all those involved. The West Reading Police Department would like to thank our community for their outpouring support that our department has been receiving during this difficult time.”
Due to continued recovery efforts, Holben says local roadways will be shut down until at-least 8am Monday morning, March 27th. He mentioned that the date and time could change based on operations.
“I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to everyone who has been impacted by this horrific event. Secondly, I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation for all the support we have received from West Reading and the surrounding communities. The support has been truly overwhelming” said West Reading Fire Chief Chad Moyer “In terms of incident operations at the scene at this point, a little over 24 hours have passed since the incident began. Crews from local fire departments, EMS agencies, police departments, and the state search and rescue task force continue to work the scene to look for victims.”
Moyer continued, “local and state fire investigators are also working diligently to determine what caused this catastrophic event. Currently we have four individuals who are unaccounted for. Due to the violence of the explosion and the amount of time that has passed the chance of finding surviors is decreasing rapidly. However, please be assured that our primary goal is accounting for all missing individuals and reuniting them with their loved ones. We will continue to update you as we receive any additional information. Thank you.”
Another press conference is scheduled for Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 10am. Watch live here: berksweekly.com/live