UK vaccine plant evacuated after getting suspicious package

International

LONDON (AP) — A British pharmaceutical manufacturing company producing coronavirus vaccines had to partially evacuate its factory Wednesday after receiving a “suspicious package.”

Wockhardt UK, an arm of the Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company that is producing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in north Wales, said it notified authorities after receiving the package on Wednesday morning.

“Upon expert advice, we have partially evacuated the site pending a full investigation. The safety of our employees and business continuity remain of paramount importance,” the company said in a statement.

North Wales Police said they were dealing with the “ongoing incident” at the Wrexham Industrial Estate, 42 miles (68 kilometers) south of Liverpool. They closed the surrounding roads and asked members of the public to avoid the area until further notice. The force did not provide further details.

The BBC reported that a bomb disposal unit has been called to deal with a suspicious package and said there were no reports of injuries.

Wockhardt UK had struck an agreement with the British government, which reserved a production line at the Welsh plant to guarantee the supply of the COVID-19 vaccines. The company recently hosted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hailed the agreement as a milestone in Britain’s vaccine distribution program.

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