At least one more body has been pulled from a pile of rubble at the R.M. chocolate factory in Berks County, Pennsylvania, which suffered a massive explosion on Friday evening, according to reports.
Independent news station WFMZ in Allentown, Pennsylvania reported that a reporter watched a coroner’s van respond to the scene on Sunday afternoon to take a body from the scene.
Earlier on Sunday, officials confirmed that four people died because of Friday’s explosion and three were still missing – now two people are unaccounted for and the death toll has risen to five.
EXPLOSION AT R.M. PALMER CHOCOLATE FACTORY IN PENNSYLVANIA LEAVES 4 DEAD, 3 STILL MISSING
Firefighters responded to the R.M. Palmer Company at about 5 p.m. on Friday after reports of an explosion and a multi-alarm fire.
The blast leveled R.M. Palmer building 2 and damaged building 1. Investigators are now working to determine what caused the blast.
On Saturday morning, officials said there was a “sign of hope” after finding a person in the rubble who was still alive.
EXPLOSION AT R.M. PALMER CHOCOLATE FACTORY IN PENNSYLVANIA LEAVES 3 DEAD, COMPANY OFFERS CONDOLENCES
A UGI Utilities spokesperson said crews were brought in after damage from the blast led to the release of gas that was helping to feed the fire.
Joseph Swope of UGI said the company did not receive calls regarding a gas leak, but noted the utilities company was cooperating with investigators by checking all facilities in the vicinity.
Frank DeJesus, whose daughter was working in the building next door at the time of the blast, said employees at the plant complained about smelling gas throughout the day.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro visited the explosion site on Saturday and pledged resources for first responders to continue rescue efforts.
R.M. Palmer’s website says it has been making chocolate novelties since 1948 and now has 850 employees at its West Reading headquarters. Its Facebook page includes entries earlier this month advertising Easter treats such as chocolate bunnies and “the newest milk chocolate hollow” in its “bunny family” as one with jellybeans inside. The company is by no means the region’s best-known chocolate manufacturer, however, with Hershey less than an hour to the west.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The company has set up a hotline to provide support for families. That number is 610-374-5224 extension 539.
Fox News’ Pilar Arias, Sarah Rumpf and Elizabeth Pritchett contributed to this report.