A massive chocolate factory explosion in Pennsylvania, USA, has left two people dead and eight others injured.
According to reports, the R.M. Palmer Co. factory, which has a workforce of over 800 employees, exploded in West Reading, Pennsylvania, on Friday. The injured were rushed to the Reading Hospital, with two admitted in fair condition.
One of the victims has been transferred, while the remaining five have since been released from the local care facility. Of the six people who were initially reported missing, one was found alive by the search and rescue team late Friday night.
In footage of the unexplained incident, chunks of rubble from the factory can be seen shooting into the air amid a sudden blaze of fire and clouds of thick smoke while cars pass by on the nearby highway. Mayor Samantha Kaag described the factory as being almost completely levelled to the ground. According to Kaag, the explosion was so large that it damaged a neighbouring building, which consisted of a church and apartments, and moved it four feet forward.
Damage to the apartments has left some residents displaced. Search and rescue teams continue to comb through the rubble for survivors while officials investigate what could have triggered the blast. The authorities are reportedly considering a gas leak as the cause of the explosion.
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