"Willy Wonka messed up”: RM Palmer chocolate factory explosion details revealed as incident sparks wild reactions online

All you need to know about RM Palmer chocolate factory explosion (Image via RM Palmer (Left) Warner Bros (Right))
All you need to know about RM Palmer chocolate factory explosion (Image via RM Palmer (Left) Warner Bros (Right))

The explosion took place at the historic RM Palmer Co chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania. It was reported to have taken place on Friday, March 24, 2023, in the afternoon.

Police reported that two people were found dead and several were missing. West Reading Borough Police Department Chief Wayne Holben said that owing to the incident, there were two fatalities and nine people are still missing.

Despite the gravity of the explosion that took place at the factory, netizens had some strange and bizarre responses. A few made jokes that Willy Wonka from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory film and book had messed up.

For the uninitiated, Willy Wonka is a character in the abovementioned book by Roald Dahl which was later adapted into several movies. Wonka is an eccentric man who owns of a chocolate factory. He invites five children to give them a tour of the factory and also to decide which one of them will inherit his fortune and his chocolate factory.

As soon as people heard about the explosion at the factory, they began making jokes about Willy Wonka getting furious at the explosion. Some even said wondered if anyone had ever heard of an explosion at a chocolate factory.

Meanwhile, West Reading Mayor Samantha Kaag said that the explosion was leveled and quite scary. Police chief Wayne Holben assured people living in the neighborhood that they were in no danger and didn't need to evacuate.

An investigation into what caused the explosion at the factory is ongoing and the rescue operation for nine missing people is currently taking place.

Social media users made jokes about Willy Wonka after explosion at chocolate factory in Reading, Pennsylvania

Netizens had some hilarious but bizarre reactions when they heard about the explosion. While some said that it felt like something that would be a part of the second Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film, others were upset by the incident and wondered what caused the explosion. Some even made jokes about Willy Wonka's reaction to the explosion.

RM Palmer Company has over 500 unique products

The RM Palmer company is popular for its chocolate novelties for Easter, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Halloween. The company has been running since 1948.

Their website mentions that they have 850 dedicated employees. These employees design, produce, package, and ship more than 500 unique products from Palmer’s headquarters in West Reading, Pa. Needless to say, this makes the company one of America’s largest and most innovative confectioners.


The company was founded by Richard M. Palmer in 1948. He did this by getting an investment of $25,000 which is equivalent to $245,000 today, and purchased some equipment and then rented an old warehouse.

At that time, there were only four employees and they came out with only four products that included Baby Binks, Daddy Binks, Bunny Binks, and Hen & Egg.

As of writing this article, the authorities were still investigating the cause of the explosion and looking for the nine missing people.

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Edited by Madhur Dave