(West Reading) Two people have died and several others are missing in an explosion at a Pennsylvania chocolate factory on Friday night.

The explosion reportedly occurred around 5 p.m. at the R. M. Palmer plant in West Reading, located about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

The cause is still under investigation, West Reading Police Chief Wayne Holben told a news conference.

He confirmed two deaths and that nine people were missing, in addition to several others injured.

The explosion caused a plume of black smoke in the sky and resulted in the destruction of a facility building and damage to a nearby building.

Holden said there was no longer any danger, but ordered residents to avoid the area of ​​the plant.

Tower Health network spokeswoman Jessica Bezler said eight people were taken to Reading Hospital on Friday evening.

Two patients were admitted in fair condition and five were being treated and could be discharged, she said in an email to The Associated Press.

Fire crews were at the scene Friday evening.