Two M&Ms Factory Workers Rescued After Falling into a Vat of Chocolate

Both workers spent over an hour stuck in the tank before being removed and taken to the hospital for evaluation.

A stream of melted chocolate
Photo: Getty Images

Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory is often thought of as a wonderful place where candy dreams can come true. But the actual story comes with a warning: Chocolate factories can be treacherous, and visitors best be careful lest they get sucked up a tube or flung down a chute. It's a moral that came to life yesterday after two workers at the Mars M&M factory in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, needed to be rescued from a tank of chocolate.

The incident began around 1:51 p.m., according to Reuters, and both workers remained trapped in what was described as waist-high chocolate for over an hour: The first person was freed from the tank at 3:10 p.m. while the second one got out 15 minutes later.

Complicating the matter was that, at some point, it was determined that the two people couldn't be removed the same way they got in. "Fire crews have eliminated pulling them straight out of a tank," Brad Wolfe, communications supervisor for Lancaster County 911 dispatch, told CNN. "They have to cut a hole in the side of the tank to get them out."

Speaking with Today, a 911 spokesperson later described the vat as being filled with "a sort of dry chocolate."

Both people were taken to the hospital, with Nick Schoenberger, assistant supervisor at Lancaster County 911 Dispatch, telling CNN, "One patient was transported by ground and one person was transported by helicopter." A Mars Wrigley spokesperson told us via email, "We can confirm both external contractors have been taken offsite for further evaluation. We're extremely grateful for the quick work of the first responders."

The extent of any injuries are still unknown, but a spokesperson for the Lancaster Bureau of Police told Today that those involved were likely taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

It's also still not clear how the workers ended up in the tank, but Harrisburg's WHTM said that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident.

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