North Carolina July 20 (U.S.): A major Pfizer drug plant in North Carolina was severely damaged by a tornado on Wednesday, while torrential rain drenched communities in Kentucky and an area from California to southern Florida that experienced more scorching heat.
Pfizer confirmed that the large manufacturing complex was damaged by a tornado that touched down shortly after midday near Rocky Mount, but said in an email that it had no reports of serious injuries. The Associated Press said in a subsequent company statement that all employees were safely evacuated and their fate accounted for.
Parts of the roofs were opened over its huge buildings. Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said the Pfizer plant is stockpiling large amounts of drugs that have been thrown away.
“I’ve had reports of 50,000 tablets of medicine scattered around the facility and damaged by rain and wind,” Stone said.
Pfizer said on its website that the plant produces anesthetics and other medications as well as approximately 25% of all sterile injectable medications used in US hospitals. Erin Fox, senior director of pharmacy at University of Utah Health, said the damage “will likely lead to long-term shortages while Pfizer either moves production to other locations or rebuilds.”
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