Watch: Chocolate Factory Explosion in Pennsylvania – IOTW Report

Watch: Chocolate Factory Explosion in Pennsylvania

Officials: 2 dead, 9 unaccounted for in Reading chocolate factory explosion


30 Comments on Watch: Chocolate Factory Explosion in Pennsylvania

  1. Iranian Revolutionary Guard retaliatory revenge attack for Biden bombing raid in Syria. The Iranian illegal alien who recently crossed the Southern Border, Targeted Easter Candy to deprive US Children candy on Easter (Christian Holy Day Tradition).

  2. “What in the hell causes a chocolate factory to explode?”

    I’m betting SNS is preparing a response as we speak. In the meantime, the short version is: almost anything in fine-powdered form can explode give the right concentration in the air, via static discharge.

  3. I was sweeping out a wallyworld truck… and there was a no naked flame thing. That’s why we always chawed. Then the dipstick lit a cigarette and the truck blew up. It knocked down the cats outside the truck, but those of us in the trailer were bereft of O2 and got knocked down, too.

  4. Tony R
    MARCH 25, 2023 AT 12:04 AM
    “What in the hell causes a chocolate factory to explode?”

    …well, skipping the conspiracy theory/deep state food plant/terrorist attack theories for the moment, there ARE things involved in candy production that CAN go BOOM.

    Sugar dust, for one.

    ht tps://

    …also, if they make their own cookies from raw grain, there’s a reaon grain elevators have an explosive reputation too…

    ht tps://

    …in addition, as JDHasty suggests above, a simple gas leak can do this. I’ve never made chocolate specifically other than some pudding experiments, but I’m guessing that chocolate factories use gas fueled steam generators as I do to heat kettles and processing vessels, and my steam generators have 3″ gas mains going to them each, not to mention the numerous gas heaters we have scattered throughout the building. It takes a hell of a lot of BTUs to heat thousands of square feet, so thousands of cubic feet of natural gas flow…

    …and there’s cars in the parking lot, batteries and LPG cylinders on the forklifts, sewer gases that can accumulate, retention ponds that can become explosive depending on what’s dumped in them (keep in mind that cooking and lubricating oils can be volitile too), gases like acetylene for welding that may be stored in bulk, just a lot of fun stuff like that.

    Also a good fire can produce flashovsr after awhile, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here, this looks more like a detonation than that, although a BLEVE from an overheated liquid fuel tank of some kind can’t be ruled out, I can’t see what specifically blows up here.

    …so yes, food plants of all stripes can go BOOM from ordinary human stupidity, carelessness, neglect, poor design, or just God having a funny without any Iranian or Democrat terrorist being involved.

    …That said, might be interesting to see if they somehow angered a Clinton or didn’t give The Big Pedo his 10%…

  5. 15 years ago I made a bad hire. Some dumb ass lazy bitch that thought he’d throw it in my face. I had loyal employees warning me about what he’d done to former employees. One was a painter and this piece of shit claimed he was dumping paint down storm drains. Almost drove the poor guy broke. I fired the bitch. A couple days later ai get a visit from the county EPA claiming a whistle blower was claiming I was dumping toxic chemicals in the lot next to us. Which I also owned. Cost me 5K in soil samples which all came back negative. And then I pressed Mr EPA. “I know who this was, he’s done it before, this rat bastard needs to be charged with something”. Sorry Mr. Brad, they’re protected under the whistle blower laws and we have no recourse.
    Three days later we have this portly Russian bitch walk through a back roll up door and announce she’s with the Cali EPA. I had super loyal employees who alerted me and I met her where she had stopped. Informed her she was raiding a DOD secured facility and if she persisted I would call the DCMA and have her dumb ass arrested. She understood that. Split. A couple hours later I get a call from some one from the CalOsha that can actually speak English. He tells me do to the false allegations they need to inspect our facility for violations. We had an enclosed aluminum polishing, grinding room they stumbled on. Big no no. You need a vacuum system to suck all that aluminum dust out of that room. Which at the the of 10K we did. Six months later they returned and fined us 10K for the very same system they demanded. They claimed we were collecting a bomb. And that’s why I no longer have employees.

  6. Brad MARCH 25, 2023 AT 1:13 AM

    “Three days later we have this portly Russian bitch walk through a back roll up door and announce she’s with the Cali EPA. I had super loyal employees who alerted me and I met her where she had stopped. Informed her she was raiding a DOD secured facility and if she persisted I would call the DCMA and have her dumb ass arrested.”

    …be glad you’re in weapons and not food. We are required to have a Federal USDA/FSIS inspector on site at all times when running meat products (which is all the time) and they are fully empowered to inspect for and enforce ANY Federal law and are ALSO empowered as OSHA inspectors, so that wouldn’t work for us.

    …you know what they say about letting the camel’s nose under your tent…

  7. “What makes a chocolate factory explode?”

    The same thing that makes trains derail, food processing centers burn, power grids fail, bridges collapse, and causes once-powerful military forces to get chased out of third world countries by simpletons with rocks:


  8. SNS: About 30 years ago in my city, at a Marie Calendars on a 4th of July weekend, a steam- jacketed kettle blew up. The pressure knocked the back wall off it’s foundation, and most of the roof tiles off. We did an investigation, and I found the pressure relief valve (similar to those on water heaters). It had been installed backwards, so the greater the pressure, the tighter the valve closed until that day and …kaboom. Luckily, miraculously, no one was seriously injured.

  9. Tony R MARCH 25, 2023 AT 10:06 AM

    …it would be interesting to me to know the financial state of this plant as well, as the Coof overreaction put a LOT of businesses in a slow death spiral, and a choclatier would be unlikely to be regarded as an essential business, plus which it’s SUPER difficult to get ingredients now and contract packagers live and die by fulfilling their contracts in a timely fashion for a set price and will get slaughtered if they have to reach around for top-dollar ingredients on an emergency basis.

    Why is this relevant? Because when a food business starts to decline, an assortment of things happen. One, they start to have credit issues with suppliers, not just of ingredients, but of parts. This leads to long leads for parts, high prices for parts, sometimes parts simply not being made available, and then the business turns to alternatives as it gets more desperate. Sometimes alternatives match, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes a part fits in the hole, but is in the wrong range. At the beginning a plant engineer might be tasked with determining if something is appropriate or not, but as the skid continues this guy will probably quit or be laid off as they are pretty expensive and in high demand so a failing business won’t be able to keep them. This drops everything to the next level, where you may have mechanics asked to figure out alternatives. Lots of techs are pretty good at this but don’t have the supplier contacts or the mathematical background to always make sure the part is in fact right, and its also VERY possible (in food applications particuarly) that there are LEGAL restrictions on what parts can be used. Plus, those guys have to keep the plant running and aren’t sitting in an air conditioned office in front of a CAD terminal jawing with vendors all day, they HAVE to keep the lines up and are constantly pulled away for emergencies…the moreso as the parts problems multiply with aging parts being run hard and not PMd appropriately.

    So next up the company starts leaning on its guys to cut corners, take shortcuts, do things that aren’t wise, safe, or particuarly legal. The senior, experienced technicians won’t stand for that as THEY are LEGALLY responsible for such shennanigans, and will at first resist, then quit as THEY are also in high demand and not cheap. So now you’ve lost two tiers of your most knolwedgeable people that you can’t replace because your business is failing and you can’t afford guys comporable to what you lost, so now you drop down to your less experienced guys and guys right out of tech school. They may be eager and some may, in time, get good, but they don’t have experience and CAN be cowed by management into making unsafe decisions or simply installing things improperly due to lack of understanding…like putting a pressure relief valve in a steam-jacketed kettle backwards, to borrow your example. So fuses get bypassed, safeties get tied down, pipes are not inspected and allowed to corrode, boilers are welded illegally by people not trained properly to do so, wiring is done shoddily or improperly or with too light a gauge wire and the safeties bypassed…it gets real ugly real fast. Odds are you can’t get lower tier guys in the numbers you want in this economy either, so now your line people who always wanted to try something step up and start bypassihg safeties so they can get right in there with their hands and start trying to compensate for worn machinery with their bare hands, aggrivated by the fact that the experienced line leads (ALSO in high demand) have probably quit at this point too, and middle management is in fear for their jobs and turn a blind eye to anything that “works”…it’s quite dangerous and quite ugly at this point, and there’s more than likely no one who’s even aware of a terrible situation that is about to detonate their world.

    There’s a lot of examples, here’s one that took down an NC chicken plant, killed 25 people, and injured another 50+, all from really bad operational decisions.

    …Unfortunately, there’s a TON of these if you look, it’s really kind of depressing how common it can be.

    I saw this in practice once in a plant that had been shuttered for numerous Federal regulation violations and a squabble between family. The details aren’t important and I don’t know that much because I didn’t work there, but we went to pick up a spiral freezer on the cheap from them because they damn sure weren’t going to use it any more. Long story short we cut the freezer loose and the truck was late, so we had time to wander around in this ghost of a food plant. You could see where it dies by degrees by the dates on things that the USDA inspectors had red-tagged for violations, until they eventually lost the ablity to legally sell anything they made at all. Some of it was pretty revolting, like the freezer that had been turned off with tons of pork in it that did what pork does when left out in the summer, and some was clearly because of death throes to keep running. Being techs we naturally looked in their parts room and found nothing but garbage, and examined some of their equipment where we found interesting things like ammonia freezer pumps that had their fuses replaced with welded pieces of metal in all three phases so there was no fuse protection to these high-voltage devices at all. We kind of quit looking when we got to the bathroom with weeks-old unflushed loads and personal property still in the lockers, because it became pretty apparent that none of the rest of the equipment was servicable or even could be made so.

    We had to gut that freezer and replace all the moving parts, BTW. Everything in it had been run to failure.

    …This is how factories die.

    And, unfortunately, this is how the people IN them die sometimes as well.


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