Chocolate Factory Fined After Sticky Mishap

Written by Wes Walker on February 13, 2023


In an uncanny example of life imitating art, emergency crews were called to rescue workers after they fell into a giant vat of chocolate.

Sure, many of us have seen one or more adaptions of the children’s book in which kids touring a chocolate factory are eliminated, one by one, from a tour of Willy Wonka’s famous factory. One scene, in particular, has a tubby kid with no self-control tumble into a lake of chocolate getting sucked up through a giant collector tube, into another part of the factory.

Many of us have even joked about how ‘awesome’ that might be or even pondered hypotheticals about whether it would be better to fall into a vat of chocolate or a vat of beer.

Then real life comes along with a reality check.

Needless to say, a real-life story about people falling into a pool of chocolate seems harmless and amusing at first blush. But the ordeal it took to rescue the workers puts the scene in proper perspective.

The incident, which happened last year, required an EMT response. One of them needed to be airlifted to the hospital.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Mars Wrigley in the June accident at the Elizabethtown M&M/Mars factory, saying the workers were not authorized to work in the tanks and weren’t trained on the proper safety procedures for the equipment.
Officials said two workers employed by an outside contracting firm fell into the partially filled chocolate tank while doing maintenance work. Emergency responders were able to free the pair by cutting a hole in the bottom of the tank, officials said. Both were taken to hospitals, one by helicopter.
— NBCBayArea

Over and above any of the operational expenses incurred by the ruined chocolate and factory down time, Mars Wrigley faces fines of more than $14,500 for the incident.

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