Police: 2 dead, 9 missing in Pennsylvania chocolate factory explosion

WEST READING, Pa. (AP) — An explosion at a chocolate factory in Pennsylvania on Friday night killed two people and left several others missing as investigators begin to determine a cause.

West Reading Borough Police Department Chief Wayne Holben confirmed there were two dead, nine people missing and several others injured in the explosion at the RM Palmer Co. factory in West Reading.

The explosion at 4:57 p.m. sent a plume of black smoke into the air and resulted in the destruction of a facility building and damage to a nearby building. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, Holden told a news conference.

There was no longer any danger, but Holden ordered residents to avoid the factory area about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Tower Health spokeswoman Jessica Bezler said eight people were taken to Reading Hospital on Friday evening.

Two were admitted in fair condition and five were being treated and would be released, she said in an email to The Associated Press. She said a patient had been transferred to another facility, but provided no further details.

Berks County fire crews remained at the scene Friday night.


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