WEST READING, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield visited the site of the explosion that took place Friday evening at the RM Palmer Company in West Reading.

On Saturday Morning, Shapiro was briefed by West Reading Mayor Samatha Kaag and local leaders on the explosion and pledged all commonwealth resources needed to support recovery efforts.

Get severe weather alerts with newsletters and push alerts from the abc27 Weather Team!

“This morning, I was with West Reading Mayor Samantha Kaag and local officials for an update on the RM Palmer factory explosion – and to pledge my Administration’s support as the community recovers,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Lori and I thank the first responders, PEMA, and Pennsylvania State Police teams on the scene. Our hearts break for the families of those who didn’t come home. As West Reading continues to confront this tragedy this morning, the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania stands with this community. We are with you – and my Administration is here to provide all the resources and support West Reading needs.” 

The Shapiro Administration has been in close contact with local officials and has been using all the state’s resources since the start of the incident. As quoted in the release, this includes:

  • PEMA has worked to coordinate mutual aid resources with Berks County officials, mobilizing K-9s, structural engineers, and equipment. 
  • Pennsylvania State Police have been on site coordinating requests for additional resources and personnel and working with local police departments as requested. 
  • A team of structural engineers and K-9s from Pennsylvania’s Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue arrived on site Friday evening and have been assisting in ongoing search and rescue operations. 
  • Additional personnel from Pennsylvania Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue arrived on site Saturday. This personnel includes search and rescue specialists, structural engineering experts, planning specialists, heavy equipment specialists, and K-9s. 
  • A Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshall has been deployed to the scene and is assisting in the investigation

West Reading borough officials are directing residents requesting information on the incident to call the West Reading Police Department at 610-373-0111.