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West Reading officials announced Sunday night that they believe the final two victims of the Friday explosion at a R.M. Palmer Co. chocolate plant have been found.
Police Chief Wayne Holben said at a press briefing just after 9 p.m. that rescue workers had found the bodies earlier in the evening and that they are believed to be the remaining two individuals who were listed as missing earlier in the day. Their identities will be confirmed by the Berks County Coroner’s Office, he said.
One of the victims was found around 6:50 p.m., and the other around 8:20 p.m., Holben said.
The deaths bring the total number killed in the blast to seven.
Officials have not provided any information about the victims. Mayor Samantha Kaag said Sunday night that their identities will not be released until their families are notified and have a chance to process the news.
With all of the victims now accounted for, the main focus of work at the scene in the first block of South Second Avenue will move from rescue and recovery operation to investigation, Holben said. Officials have to declined to speculate what may have caused the devastating blast that shook the borough just before 5 p.m. Friday.
“This is really just the start of everything,” Kaag said of the ongoing investigation and impending clean-up effort.
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