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M&M’s maker fined after 2 Pennsylvania factory workers fell into a chocolate tank and sparked a rescue operation

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The maker of some of America’s best-loved candies has been fined thousands of dollars after two workers fell into a vat of chocolate at its factory in Elizabethtown, Pa.

In June 2022, first responders were called to the Mars Wrigley facility and found two workers trapped in a tank full of chocolate that had been destined to become Dove bars, local media reported at the time.

The two individuals involved in the accident—who were contractors employed by an external cleaning company—were rescued by fire crews, who had to cut a hole in the chocolate vat to help them escape.

Both were taken to hospital, with one of the workers transported by helicopter, according to reports. It is unclear if, or how badly, they were injured.

Following the incident, Mars Wrigley—whose confectionery products include M&M’s, Snickers bars and Mars bars—found itself in hot water with the Labor Department.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the conglomerate a fine of $14,502 over the accident.

The regulator said the company had committed a “serious” breach of workplace health and safety laws, saying the company had put employees at risk by failing to ensure workers who were hired to clean its tanks were correctly trained to do so in a safe way.

A spokesperson for Mars Wrigley was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Fortune.

However, representatives for the company told the BBC that the safety of its workforce, including outside contractors, was “a top priority.”

“We appreciate [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s] collaborative approach to working with us to conduct the after-action review,” they said.

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