You must log in or register to comment.

annon103014 t1_jdmkav4 wrote

> "It's pretty leveled. Unfortunately, there’s not too much to kind of be salvaged from it. The building in the front, with the church and the apartments, the explosion was so big that it moved that building four feet forward," said West Reading Mayor Samantha Kaag.


plantpowered22 t1_jdn09z0 wrote

Moving a building 4 feet forward. I can't wrap my brain around it.


-js23 t1_jdkjahj wrote

I wonder if it was a sugar or flour dust explosion, if enough is in the air, it can go up like a gas explosion.


12darrenk t1_jdlyvmd wrote

Early reports said that there were flames coming up thru cracks in the pavement prior to the natural gas supply being secured. So everything seems to be pointing to a natural gas explosion at this time.


thefluxthing t1_jdn7w34 wrote

Brother in law of my coworker was in the explosion. Apparently building 2 blew up. He was in building 1 and said the smell of gas was incredible. He went outside to get a break from the awful smell and ended up being not far from Building 2 as it exploded. He feels he survived by not taking the last 2 or 3 intended steps.

(Just noting I also posted this same comment on another Palmer’s explosion post to this sub. But felt the comment was also relevant here)


bigtoegman210 t1_jdlxamp wrote

People don’t realize but sugar is an explosive


DragoonDart t1_jdm1zin wrote

It’s not though. It just makes existing explosions or fires worse due to its nature


NotYourDad75 t1_jdmb64k wrote

It is though. Areas that process sugar are typically classified areas because of the explosion hazard. You’re right in saying that there are usually two explosions or events. The first event is usually small, but it may cause more sugar to become airborne, thus setting up the right conditions for an even bigger second explosion.

I just don’t think it’s correct to say it’s not explosive. It’s a fuel, and when mixed with oxygen in the right proportions and ignited, it will explode.


DragoonDart t1_jdmj1ut wrote

So is flour. So is grain. Saying “Sugar is an explosive” is a shock/clickbait statement because it ignores the very specific context needed to make it explode.

You’re not wrong; but if you light a match next to your household sugar in a Tupperware container it’s not going to go up like the Hindenburg or at all really. That’s why it’s disingenuous and that’s my issue with the statement


-js23 t1_jdmqjjs wrote

No, but if it is in a factory and enough fine particles are kicked up and mixed with the oxygen in the air, it can easily become an explosive. But it also could have easily have been a gas leak as much of that infrastructure is aging.


DavidLieberMintz t1_jdmtv1p wrote

>It’s a fuel, and when mixed with oxygen in the right proportions and ignited, it will explode.

That means it's combustible, doesn't necessarily mean it's explosive. If any combustible material mixes with air and fills a room with an ignition source it will flashover and cause an explosion. But to say sugar is an explosive implies you could put a match to a bag of sugar and it'll go boom. So no, sugar is not "explosive."


Accomplished-Pen4934 t1_jdmx6to wrote

Not sure why the downvotes, that’s Reddit for ya


Socketfusion t1_jdos8ta wrote

Because they are in fact wrong. Fine sugar particulates suspended in air in an enclosed space can be sufficient fuel for an explosion. There are NFPA standards on it. But that's Reddit for ya.


Socketfusion t1_jdos1vi wrote

Sugar "dust" when suspended in air in an enclosed space can create an explosive mix of fuel and air. In those cases the only fuel need is the suspended sugar particulates. There are NFPA standards on mitigating explosion risk in sugar processing facilities.


Socketfusion t1_jdotueu wrote

Probably natural gas, at least initially. There may have been secondary dust explosions. To have that big of a dust explosion is unlikely because a very large amount of the building would have to be filled with a lot suspended dust. I know flammable dust explosions can be huge, but there were workers in those spaces so there would have to be significant control methods even if they weren't following safety rules. They probably wouldn't be able to work if there was that flour and or sugar dust in the air.


18wheelapartment t1_jdl9o3t wrote

It was the front office. Management. Compare a street view to the news images.

Looks like I’m gonna be the first person to ask the uncomfortable question: was it a bomb?


mbz321 t1_jdkj3zq wrote

I love how some of the articles are calling it a 'chocolate' factory. Does Palmer make anything that could legally be called chocolate?


vintageideals OP t1_jdknx8t wrote

I love the distinct flavor of their chocolate


k2j2 t1_jdl7iqb wrote

My mom worked there in the 80s- my Easter baskets were filled with Palmer bunnies. So sad for all involved.


Reighna1 t1_jdld7xf wrote

So heartbroken for the families of the deceased and missing..may the Lord being them some comfort


Sea_One_6500 t1_jdmji2w wrote

I live in the next town over. It's horrendous. They're currently up to 5 dead and 6 unaccounted for. It's speculated that it was a gas leak, reports of an odor of gas shortly before the explosion and the fact that fire was seen coming from the ground post explosion support that. It took forever for UGI to cut the gas to the area. Several people survived, some without injury. It's heartbreaking reading the posts of people looking for their loved ones that are still unaccounted for. I hope UGI is sued into oblivion. They've raised our rates twice in the past year and charged customers a surcharge since we all used less gas this past winter. Meanwhile their infrastructure is falling apart. There have been multiple calls to our various local fire departments the past weeks regarding gas leaks. My former neighbor worked there and I'm very concerned about him, he's a great guys.


12darrenk t1_jdmmn23 wrote

It's back to 2 dead and 5 unaccounted for per the news conference that just ended.. The earlier (mis)information came from PEMA, which is pretty concerning that the state and local officials aren't communicating very well.


Sea_One_6500 t1_jdmqg3i wrote

They found 1 person alive this morning! All our fire and ambulances save Reading City, are volunteers so miscommunication is unfortunately pretty common.


TheOperaGhostofKinja t1_jdk2nd6 wrote

Drove past there 1.5 hours ago. I could not see much, but it did not look good.

Multiple ambulances arriving and leaving.


internetcommunist t1_jdl39ka wrote

Fuck hope the employees are okay and if this is a result of employer negligence people go to fucking jail over this. Dying at work is like my biggest fear.


12darrenk t1_jdlzjyh wrote

At least 2 dead and 9 unaccounted for at this time. I kinda of doubt this was employer negligence, but you never know. All signs are pointing to a natural gas explosion. Could have been a freak thing or an accident that caused the leak/explosion.


vintageideals OP t1_jdmccg4 wrote

Yeah, I’m waiting to hear the official cause. I keep hearing it was a gas explosion as well.


NeilPoonHandler t1_jdmh2rr wrote

Apparently it’s up to 5 people dead now and 6 missing :(


12darrenk t1_jdmleue wrote

That information has been corrected at a news conference. 2 dead, 5 still unaccounted for. Supposedly the earlier information came from PEMA. It's a bit concerning that the state is giving out information that has to be corrected by local officials.


ronreadingpa t1_jdlxhhg wrote

Very rarely does anyone ever serve time let alone even get convicted unless they are extremely negligent. Then often what happens is the person(s) are arrested with much fanfare to appease the public. However, then the case drags out or is quietly dropped. Alternatively, goes to trial, but case is dismissed, or is acquitted, or found not guilty. Or if found guilty, likely gets probation or does a little time with early release / suspended sentance. Extremely rare for anyone to serve out serious prison time.

Frequent viewers of disaster videos (ie. YT channels: Fascinating Horror and Plainly Difficult) are familiar with how the company / owners / executives often get off with maybe some low-level employee taking the fall.

In short, it's employee beware. If the pay isn't worth the risk, seek out something else. If conditions are dangerous, don't assume the employer will do much or care. Sometimes the only option is to quit.


StyreneAddict1965 t1_jdlu1xp wrote

No one in corporate America goes to jail. But businesses are people, right?


SquishySand t1_jdkqzgk wrote

Regulations are written in blood. Corners were cut, and now 2 people are confirmed dead, and 9 are missing.


12darrenk t1_jdlz91w wrote

It's really hard to say this early if corners were cut. All signs point to a natural gas explosion. Any number of things could have happened to cause a leak and explosion.


KrauerKing t1_jdoc8rd wrote

And reports of people saying they were being overwhelmed by the smell of a gas leak and no reports of an immediate stop on all machinery? In theater shows get stopped if a prop is to close to a moving lift. There's no excuse to not shutting down other than "do you know the loss of revenue from having to spin down and back up again?"


Socketfusion t1_jdot1ko wrote

People are stupid. I worked a pretty large natural gas explosion investigation at a medium sized suburban commercial building. There were multiple 911 calls reporting a potential leak, but when the fire department showed up, almost no one had evacuated. People were still in their yoga class or catching up on some work on a Saturday. Thankfully it didn't blow up until shortly after the fire department got there and no one was injured.

Of course there is the possibility that the company are shit bags and didn't allow shut downs or evacuation. But it isn't a certainty.


SquishySand t1_jdm1ojw wrote

That's true. it could be decaying infrastructure.


MaMakossa t1_jdo6iuq wrote

Pardon if my questions are nonsensical as I am just trying to understand:

But who is responsible for checking the integrity of the infrastructure? Natural gas leak or not - why hasn’t the corporation been aware of the state of their own properties?


No-Setting9690 t1_jdmdovm wrote

I work across the street from it. Whole building shook and swayed from it.


Spiderhater76 t1_jdmej3d wrote

The horror. Those poor people just trying to earn a buck and then this happens. I had no idea sugar was explosive


jpop237 t1_jdkc4yu wrote

Was it definitely the Palmer building that exploded or the train on the tracks?

Edit: The initial Twitter video looked like the tracks and a train but subsequent video shows the building in shambles.


18wheelapartment t1_jdm2zdy wrote

Railroad is elevated over that area for almost, sheesh a quarter mile maybe? It’s a long viaduct more than a single bridge. The factory is partly under it or very close to the bridge supports.


angelinafuckingmarie t1_jdkc3jf wrote

It was an electrical arcing from one of the caramelized peanut machines


18wheelapartment t1_jdl9hrc wrote

Except,,, it was the front office. Not the factory floor. On a Friday. Do they pay weekly or biweekly there? Was today payday?


mrsfiction t1_jdltscr wrote

Please go conspiracy theorize somewhere else


und88 t1_jdn80xe wrote

In the unlikely scenario it turns out to be a bomb, police should look into this guy.


LostInSpace9 t1_jdlun1k wrote

Seriously? Do you realize how bad fatalities are for an organization? And your implying they murdered their own so they didn’t have to pay a few thousand dollars in a 2 week salary? Get your life together.


18wheelapartment t1_jdm1zve wrote

Fine, I’m out of line for ASKING if it MIGHT have been a bomb, but you’re assuming management would do it? To their employees?

Yeah that makes sense,,,

No, my (and I’m gonna use a big word here for some of you) SPECULATION is, “could it have been a deranged employee that didn’t like the working conditions, pay, or heck just didn’t like the way someone looked at him, and did a lone wolf terror attack?”

Something like this happened in Nashville a year or more ago and there were never any answers to that either. At least none that made the news. Look that up.

Many people rant on the internet constantly about anti-capitalism, how the rich deserve to be killed, and the evils of the disparity between rich and poor. Did someone get crazy enough to do this intentionally?

It should at least be investigated. But I expect a forensics report in soon enough.

Downvote me to hell for daring to ask a question.


LostInSpace9 t1_jdm4f0v wrote

Edit: you know what forget everything I said, I’m choosing not to be an asshole today — have a nice day.


ronreadingpa t1_jdlw3yr wrote

Virtually no company regularly pays cash anymore. Payroll is presumably mostly direct deposit and maybe some checks. Probably outsourced too, but don't know. Factories like that usually pay Friday on a weekly basis. However, it's possible they were biweekly.

As for your bomb suggestion, it's possible, but would be one heck of a big one to do that much damage. Looks like a natural gas explosion. However, anything is possible. Would expect within a few days the authorities will release a statement of the probable cause.

On a related note, the Wyomissing Post Office also experienced a natural gas explosion about 40 years ago. Such incidents are very rare, but happens more than they should. For residential, all electric is a realistic option, but for manufacturing, often not viable.

Rambling on. In short, near certain an accident.