Back on the 24th of March, the R.M. Palmer Co. chocolate factory located in West Reading, Pennsylvania, blew up, resulting in the deaths of seven people and the wounding of ten others, but despite all the carnage, one worker, Patricia Borges, ended up being saved after falling into a vat of melted chocolate and being coated in the confectionery.
As explained in an interview which was exclusive to the Associated Press — and carried out from her bedside in the hospital where Borges is currently being treated for injuries acquired during the blast — the worker told her insane story.
At roughly 4:3- p.m. local time the day of the explosion, Borges stated that she caught a whiff of what could only have been natural gas. Borges explained to the AP that she and a number of other factory workers brought it up to the supervisor who told them that someone much higher up would need to make the call on any choice to evacuate the building. After just under 30 minutes, the building exploded.
In the wake of the blast, Borges’ arm ignited. “I asked God why he was giving me such a horrible death. … I asked him to save me, that I didn’t want to die in the fire,” she explained to the AP.
As Borges started to flee, the floor gave away, and she dropped into a vat of melted chocolate, which ended up putting out all the fire on her body, but apparently broke a few bones in both of her feet.
Borges was able to stand in the vat with chocolate up to her chest. When first responders got to the scene, they started dousing the building with water, some of which ended up filling the rest of the vat to the point that Borges could no longer stand in it.
After clambering out of the vat, she dropped into a pool of water, swallowing quite a bit of it. Borges stayed laying in the water for a few more hours shouting for help until a rescue dog found her for the search teams.
As the manager of the emergency response team of Pennsylvania Task Force 1, Ken Pagurek stated that if Borges had not been found when she was, she could have also died.
Members of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened an investigation into the explosion at the factory.