Tragedy struck R.M. Palmer Co in West Reading, Pennsylvania, on Friday as an explosion at the chocolate factory caused the deaths of seven people.
The number of casualties steadily increased over the weekend as rescue teams worked tirelessly to sift through the rubble of the building.
Authorities have since announced that they have ended their search for those believed to be missing following the blast.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) reported that seven other individuals were taken to local hospitals with injuries.
While the cause of the explosion is yet to be determined, PEMA has cited a possible issue with a gas lead.
In a statement released on Facebook, R.M. Palmer expressed its condolences and said it was working closely with emergency authorities to reach out to employees and their families.
The company did not provide further details on the cause of the explosion.
Images circulating on social media show the devastating aftermath of the explosion, with a vast pile of debris and large plumes of thick black smoke emanating from the factory.
R.M. Palmer, which was founded in 1948 and employs around 850 people, is known for creating over 500 unique chocolate and candy products.
West Reading Borough Mayor Samantha Kaag described the incident as a “devastating loss,” and expressed gratitude for the search being able to account for all those believed to be missing.
The town of West Reading, with a population of around 4,500, is located approximately 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
As the authorities continue their investigation into the cause of the explosion, the thoughts of the community are with the families and loved ones of those affected by this terrible tragedy.