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Pennsylvania chocolate factory explosion: Rescuers search for four missing people after three killed in blast | US News

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A search is ongoing for four people still missing after an explosion at a chocolate factory in Pennsylvania left three dead.

Rescue crews using dogs and imaging equipment are continuing to search for people under the rubble of the RM Palmer Co plant in West Reading, which is about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Borough Fire Chief Chad Moyer said: “Due to the violence of the explosion and the amount of time that has passed, the chance of finding survivors is decreasing rapidly.

“However, please be assured that our primary goal is accounting for all missing individuals and reuniting them with their loved ones.”

Authorities said one person was pulled alive from the rubble overnight, which “provides hope that others still may be found”.

Rubble is cleared at the site of a deadly explosion at a chocolate factory
Rubble is cleared at the site of the deadly explosion.

Roads near the site have also been closed until 8am on Monday.

Pic: AP
Pic: AP

Read more:
Chocolate factory explosion kills two people, with five more missing

A gas and electric company, UGI Utilities, has said crews were brought in after the blast caused a gas leak that was helping to fuel the fire.

“We did not receive any calls regarding a gas leak or gas order prior to the incident, but we are co-operating with the investigation and part of that will be to check all our facilities in the vicinity,” UGI spokesman Joseph Swope said.

Governor Josh Shapiro said resources would be provided “to support ongoing recovery efforts – in addition to the extensive assets that have already been deployed”.

He said a team of structural engineers and search dogs from a state urban rescue task force have been assisting.

‘Devastated by the tragic events’

Pic: AP
Pic: AP

In a statement on Saturday, RM Palmer said that everyone at the company was “devastated by the tragic events” and “focused on supporting our employees and their families”.

“We have lost close friends and colleagues, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all who have been impacted,” a spokesman said.

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