Houlahan meets with West Reading Borough Officials after deadly factory explosion

Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) recently met with West Reading Mayor Samantha Kaag, Borough President Ryan Lineaweaver, Police Department Chief Wayne Holben, CEO of Western Berks Ambulance Association Tony Tucci, and members of the Borough’s Department of Public Works to discuss recovery efforts after the R.M. Palmer Company factory explosion.

The group discussed their experiences with the rescue and recovery efforts, and what can be done to continue to help those affected. Houlahan also had the opportunity to visit the site of the explosion.

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This visit comes after the explosion of the R.M. Palmer Company’s manufacturing facility in West Reading on March 24th at approximately 5:00pm. The incident claimed seven lives and injured others. Multiple small businesses were impacted and residents of one apartment complex have been displaced as a result of the explosion.

The community is still recovering from the tragedy. Houlahan’s office along with U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)’s office, have compiled resources for residents and affected businesses on how federal, state, and local governments can provide assistance.

“As the West Reading community continues to recover from this tragic incident, I want them to know I am here with them every step of the way,” said Houlahan. “My office is here to help and can provide many forms of assistance for the R.M. Palmer employees, area residents and affected businesses. I am enormously thankful to Mayor Kaag and her team, our first responders, and area medical staff for coming together at such a difficult time and for the incredible work of those who support our community on the ground in West Reading each and every day.”

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“I speak for myself, along with my community, when I say that I am very grateful for Chrissy Houlahan and her wonderful team for stepping up to guide and lead us to better serve the Borough of West Reading. Her team and she were able to share information, resources, and support on how we can help those affected directly and indirectly by the disaster. This type of outreach can and will make a significant difference in people’s lives,” said West Reading Mayor Samantha Kaag. “Overall, it’s genuinely heartwarming to see leaders like Chrissy Houlahan stepping up to support smaller communities during difficult times. We should all be grateful for her teams’ and her efforts and the positive impact she has and continues to make not only in West Reading but everywhere she serves.”

”We are grateful for Rep. Houlahan’s visit to West Reading following the events at R.M. Palmer on March 24th and appreciate her commitment to understanding the impact of the incident on our community,” said West Reading Council President Ryan Lineaweaver. “Her willingness to listen to local leaders and residents demonstrates her dedication to finding solutions that will aid in recovery efforts for the borough and those affected by the tragedy.”

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