A chocolate factory explosion Friday in West Reading, Pennsylvania killed five people and left six more missing.
The blast destroyed one building of the RM Palmer Company and damaged another nearby building, according to WPVI. Officials are unsure of the number of injuries.
#BREAKING Chocolate factory explosion in West Reading leaves 5 dead, 6 unaccounted forhttps://t.co/6X3skMBShf
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) March 25, 2023
“It’s pretty leveled, unfortunately there’s not too much to be able to salvage from it,” West Reading Mayor Samantha Kaag said, WPVI reported. “In the front, with the church and the apartments, the explosion was so big that it moved that building four feet forward.”
Officials believe the explosion could have started from a gas leak, but they are still investigating, reported WPVI. No evacuations were ordered due to the explosion. (RELATED: Candymaker Fined After Two Employees Fell Into Chocolate Vat)
Kristen Wisniewski lives three blocks away from the chocolate factory, according to WPVI.
“It was the loudest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” Wisniewski said. “It literally felt like the ground fell out from underneath you. The whole house shook and my dogs froze, they couldn’t move, it was scary.”
NEW – Massive explosion reported in a factory that produces chocolate in Reading, Pennsylvania pic.twitter.com/wqyr9Kzh9r
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) March 24, 2023
The RM Palmer Company is a specialty chocolate maker with 850 employees and over 500 different products, according to the company’s website.
The West Reading Police Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller for comment.