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Factory worker who believed she would burn to death says falling into vat of chocolate saved her life

Factory worker who believed she would burn to death says falling into vat of chocolate saved her life

Seven people were killed in the explosion

A woman saying falling into a vat of chocolate saved her life following an explosion at the factory she worked at.

Patricia Borges survived the explosion at the R.M. Palmer Co. chocolate factory in Pennsylvania that killed seven of her co-workers last week on 24 March.

As fire spread throughout the factory, Borges found her arm engulfed in flames and began to run - but as she ran, she felt the floor give way and she fell into a vat of chocolate in the basement of the building.

The chocolate extinguished the flames on her arm, but Borge broke her collarbone and both heels in the fall.

Borges told the Associated Press: “When I began to burn, I thought it was the end for me.”

She added: “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.”

The factory prior to the explosion.
Google Earth

But her ordeal wasn’t over yet, Borges, 50, spent the next nine hours screaming for help as firefighters battled the flames outside.

As the vat began to fill with water from the firefighters, Borges had to climb out once it reached her neck and she was forced to jump down into a pool of water that had gathered in the basement.

Despite shouting for help for hours, it was nine hours before she was found by search and rescue teams.

Search dogs initially indicated to the team that there could be a survivor in the rubble and then they heard the faint sound of her voice, which they were able to follow.

She was eventually found chest-deep in the bitterly-cold water.

Ken Pagurek, one of the men who lead the rescue efforts, told AP: “She was severely hypothermic and banged up.”

Patricia Borges was injured in the explosion, which killed seven.

He also said she appeared to be ‘absolutely confused’.

​​“I think had they not gotten to her when they did, there was a very good chance the number of victims was going to be plus one,” he added.

Borges now has to undergo surgery on both of her feet and faces a long recovery.

Her family have set up a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of her medical treatment - which you can donate to here.

Federal, state and local investigations into the cause of the explosion are ongoing.

As yet, not cause has not been determined but the federal transportation safety agency has characterized it as a natural gas explosion.

Featured Image Credit: NBC News

Topics: US News