NTSB: Crack in Retired Gas Service Tee May Have Led to R.M. Palmer Chocolate Plant Explosion

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has found evidence of two natural gas leaks that may have caused the March 24, 2023, explosion and fire at the R.M. Palmer Co. chocolate plant in West Reading, Pa., that killed seven people, injured 11 and destroyed Building 2 of the facility.

The NTSB investigation indicates that natural gas was leaking from a DuPont Aldyl A service tee that was installed by the natural gas service provider in 1982 and later determined to be susceptible to performance failures by pipeline industry guidance. Aldyl A is the trademarked name of a polyethylene plastic gas pipeline product manufactured by the DuPont chemical company using a proprietary polymer resin.

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