UpdateAn explosion at a chocolate factory in Pennsylvania on Friday night killed three people and left four others missing. Officials announced this during a press conference on Saturday evening (local time). At least ten people were injured and taken to hospital, local media reported.
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The accident happened Friday night at RM Palmer in West Reading, Pennsylvania. According to the police, the 2nd building of the factory collapsed in this explosion. West Reading’s mayor confirms the building is “almost demolished”. Adjacent ‘Building 1’ was damaged. The cause of the explosion is still unclear, but a gas leak is likely.
Search for missing persons
Four others are missing. During the night from Friday to Saturday, rescuers pulled a woman from under the rubble of the factory complex. The employee worked on the second floor and was found in the basement. She was taken to the hospital and her condition is unknown. According to Police Chief Wayne Holben, her rescue gives hope of finding more survivors under the rubble. Rescuers use sniffer dogs.
The company says on its website that it has been making candy since 1948 and specializes in seasonal chocolates for Easter, Halloween and Valentine’s Day. About 850 people work there. This makes the company the largest employer in West Reading, with a population of over 4,000. The city is located about 100 kilometers northwest of metropolitan Philadelphia.
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