UPDATE: The Associated Press stated the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency increased the number of fatalities to five early Saturday morning. County officials say they could only confirm two.

WEST READING, BERKS COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— Multiple people are dead and several others are missing after an explosion at the R.M. Palmer Co. Plant in West Reading Friday night.

Officials say the explosion happened around 5 p.m. at R.M. Palmer Company’s chocolate factory on Second Avenue.

First responders said the explosion was followed by a fire and a secondary explosion.

Samantha Kaag, Mayor of West Reading, reported two people were found dead in the rubble of the explosion and five people are still missing. She went on to say one person was pulled from the rubble overnight and survived.

According to the Associated Press, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency crews reported five fatalities Saturday morning, but county officials are saying they could not confirm that number.

Chief of Police Wayne Holben said the rescue of one person from the rubble “provides hope that others still may be found.” Rescue workers were continuing a thorough search using specialized equipment and techniques. Officials said dogs and imaging equipment were being used to look for signs of life during the careful removal of debris.

Eight people were taken to the hospital as a result of the explosion according to police.

The identities of the victims and those hospitalized have not been released.

Dean Murray, the borough manager of West Reading Borough, said the blast damaged a nearby apartment building which has displaced some of their residents.

Officials say a gas leak might have been the cause of the explosion, but crews are still investigating.

“We have established a command center at the scene to coordinate efforts with local and state agencies. there is no danger to the surrounding area at this time however the borough is urging residents to avoid the area and follow direction of law enforcement and emergency personnel,” Chief Wayne Holben of the West Reading Police Department said.

Rescue efforts continued overnight, check back in with Eyewitness News for the latest updates as we learn more about this explosion.