Five dead after explosion at chocolate factory in Pennsylvania

The local mayor said the blast was so powerful it caused a nearby building to move by four feet. The death toll rose to six from two on Saturday.

Five people are dead and six are missing after an explosion at a chocolate factory in the US.

Eight people were hospitalised after the explosion in Pennsylvania, which happened just before 5pm local time on Friday evening.

Several others were injured in the blast at the RM Palmer Co plant, according to West Reading Borough Police Department Chief of Police Wayne Holben.

The cause of the blast, which occurred about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia, is under investigation.

It sent a plume of black smoke into the air, destroying one building and damaging a neighbouring building that includes apartments.

“The building in the front, with the church and the apartments, the explosion was so big that it moved that building four feet forward," West Reading Borough Mayor Samantha Kaag said. Kagg said borough officials were not in immediate contact with officials from RM Palmer, which Murray described as “a staple of the borough.” The company's website says it has been making “chocolate novelties” since 1948 and now has 850 employees at its West Reading headquarters.

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