UPDATE: Five Dead and Six Missing After Palmer Chocolate Factory Explosion in Pennsylvania (VIDEOS)

Five people are dead, and six are missing after a chocolate factory exploded in West Reading, Pennsylvania.

Eight people were injured in the blast, which took place just before 5 p.m. at the RM Palmer Co plant on Friday.

One of the factory’s buildings and a neighboring property were destroyed.

West Reading Borough Mayor Samantha Kaag said, “the building in the front, with the church and the apartments — the explosion was so big that it moved that building four feet forward.”

According to a report from WFMZ, officials say the explosion was followed by a fire and then a second explosion.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency said a gas leak might have caused the explosion, but that was not confirmed by early Saturday morning.

Wayne Holden, chief of the West Reading Police Department, said during a press conference that while there is no danger to those nearby, he is asking people to avoid the area while rescue efforts continue.

Palmer has been a staple of Easter candy since 1948.

“Today, 850 dedicated employees design, produce, package and ship more than 500 unique products from Palmer’s headquarters in West Reading, Pa. – making it one of America’s largest and most innovative confectioners,” Palmer’s website says.


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