Pennsylvania chocolate factory explosion leaves five dead, two missing: report

Explosion at R.M. Palmer Company chocolate factory in Pennsylvania

At least one body has been recovered from a pile of rubble at RM’s chocolate factory Berks County, PennsylvaniaWhich was subjected to a massive explosion on Friday evening, according to reports.

Independent news station WFMZ in Allentown, Pennsylvania reported that a reporter witnessed a coroner’s truck returning to the scene Sunday afternoon to collect a body from the scene.

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)

Earlier Sunday, officials confirmed that four people He died due to an explosion on Friday Three are still missing – now two people are missing and the death toll has risen to five.

Explosion at RM Palmer Chocolate Factory in Pennsylvania leaves 4 dead, 3 still missing

Firefighters responded R.M. Palmer Company At about 5pm on Friday after news of an explosion and fire with multiple alarms.

The explosion destroyed RM Palmer Building 2 and destroyed Building 1. Investigators are now working to determine the cause of the explosion.

Rubble remains after an explosion at the RM Palmer Chocolate Factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania.

Rubble remains after an explosion at the RM Palmer Chocolate Factory in West Reading, Pennsylvania. (WTXF)

On Saturday morning, officials said there was a “sign of hope” after one person was found still alive under the rubble.

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

A UGI Utilities spokesperson said crews were brought in after damage from the blast released gas that was helping to light the fire.

UGI’s Joseph Swope said the company has not received calls about a gas leak, but noted that the utility company is cooperating with investigators by checking all facilities in the vicinity.

Frank DeJesus, whose daughter was working in the building next door at the time of the explosion, said employees at the plant had complained of smelling gas all day.

Officials say three people are still missing after the explosion that destroyed a building at the RM Palmer chocolate factory in West Riding, Pennsylvania.

Officials say three people are still missing after the explosion that destroyed a building at the RM Palmer chocolate factory in West Riding, Pennsylvania. (WTXF)

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

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 a one-piece with a jelly candy 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.

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

Fox News’ Pilar Arias, Sarah Rumpf, and Elizabeth Pritchett contributed to this report.

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