Explosion at R.M. Palmer chocolate factory in Pennsylvania leaves 4 dead, 3 still missing

Four people have been confirmed dead following an explosion Friday at a Pennsylvania chocolate factory, and three are still missing.

RM Palmer’s firefighters responded Berks County, Pennsylvania, At about 5pm on Friday 24 March, after news of an explosion and fire multiple alarms were received.

The explosion caused great damage, flattening RM Palmer Building 2 and damaging Building 1. Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the explosion, According to FOX 29.

Three people are still missing after officials said a fourth person was found dead in… explosion site Early Sunday morning.

Explosion at RM PALMER CHOCOLATE FACTORY in Pennsylvania leaves 3 dead, company offers condolences

Firefighters extinguish a blaze after a deadly explosion at a chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania.

Firefighters extinguish a blaze after a deadly explosion at a chocolate factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania. (Jeff Duelb/Reading Eagle via AP)

On Saturday morning, officials said there was a “sign of hope” after one person was found alive among the building’s rubble Deadly explosion.

A UGI Utilities spokesperson said crews were brought in after the explosion, which released gas that was helping to light the fire.

“We did not receive any calls regarding a gas leak or a gas matter prior to the incident. But we are cooperating with the investigation and part of that will be checking all of our facilities in the immediate area,” UGI spokesman Joseph Swope said Saturday.

Plant employees had complained of smelling gas all day Friday, according to Frank DeJesus, whose stepdaughter was working in the building next door at the time of the explosion.

Explosion at RM PALMER CHOCOLATE FACTORY in Pennsylvania Leaves 2 Dead, Others Missing, Injured

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro visited the site of the explosion on Saturday and pledged resources for first responders to continue rescue efforts.

“Our hearts are broken for the families of those who have not returned home… We are with you – and my administration is here to provide every resource and support West Riding’s needs,” said Governor Shapiro.

RM Palmer’s website says they’ve been making new chocolate products since 1948 and now have 850 employees at their West Reading headquarters. Its Facebook page includes entries from earlier this month advertising Easter gifts like chocolate bunnies and the “newest milk chocolate hollow” in the “bunny family” as one with jelly beans inside. The company is by no means the most famous chocolate manufacturer in the area, with Hershey’s located less than an hour to the west.

Four people are dead, and three are missing after an explosion at RM Palmer's chocolate factory in West Riding, Pennsylvania.

Four people are dead, and three are missing after an explosion at RM Palmer’s chocolate factory in West Riding, Pennsylvania. (WTXF / Screengrab)

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The company has set up a hotline to provide support for families. That number is 610-374-5224 ext. 539.

Sarah Rumpf, Elisabeth Pritchett and The Associated Press of Fox News contributed to this report.

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