Wrexham industrial estate where Covid vaccine produced is EVACUATED

Factory that produces and stores Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is EVACUATED after it was sent a ‘suspicious package’ as bomb squad are called to site on industrial estate in north Wales

  • A bomb disposal squad has been called to the Wockhardt pharmaceutical facility
  • Staff at the site – in Wrexham Industrial Estate – received  the parcel this morning
  • Wockhardt provides fill-and-finish services for Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine
  • It is capable of producing up to 300 million doses of the vital jab each year

A factory that produces and stores vital doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was ‘partially evacuated’ after it was sent a ‘suspicious package’ today.

A bomb disposal squad was called to the Wockhardt pharmaceutical facility at Wrexham Industrial Estate in Wales after staff received the parcel this morning. 

Wockhardt provides fill-and-finish services for the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine and is capable of producing up to 300 million doses of the vital jab each year.

A cordon has been put in place near the plant and the public have been asked to keep away.  

A factory that produces and stores vital doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was 'partially evacuated' after it was sent a 'suspicious package' today. Pictured: Emergency workers at the scene

A factory that produces and stores vital doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was ‘partially evacuated’ after it was sent a ‘suspicious package’ today. Pictured: Emergency workers at the scene 

A bomb disposal squad was called to the Wockhardt pharmaceutical facility at Wrexham Industrial Estate in Wales after staff received the parcel this morning. Pictured: Emergency workers at the scene

A bomb disposal squad was called to the Wockhardt pharmaceutical facility at Wrexham Industrial Estate in Wales after staff received the parcel this morning. Pictured: Emergency workers at the scene

A spokeswoman for the company said: ‘Wockhardt UK in Wrexham this morning received a suspicious package. 

‘All relevant authorities were immediately notified and engaged. Upon expert advice we have partially evacuated the site pending a full investigation. 

‘The safety of our employees and business continuity remains of paramount importance.’ 

There is nothing to suggest the investigation will impede vaccine production. 

Wockhardt (file image, pictured) provides fill-and-finish services for the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine and is capable of producing up to 300 million doses of the vital jab each year

Wockhardt (file image, pictured) provides fill-and-finish services for the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine and is capable of producing up to 300 million doses of the vital jab each year 

A North Wales Police spokesperson said: ‘We are currently dealing with an ongoing incident on the Wrexham Industrial Estate.

‘The roads are currently closed and we would ask the public to avoid the area until further notice.’  

Gary Creighton – who lives near the industrial estate – said he was notified of the incident today by a friend who works at the the Wockhardt factory.

The friend said that the bomb squad had attended after a threat was called in. 

Mr Creighton said he believed the incident was a ‘bomb threat by antivaxxers’. 

There is nothing to suggest the investigation will impede vaccine production (police at the scene, pictured)

There is nothing to suggest the investigation will impede vaccine production (police at the scene, pictured)

He added: ‘The bomb squad is currently at Wrexham Industrial Estate following a threat.

‘It’s where the bottles for the Covid vaccine are being produced and nearby buildings have now been evacuated.’ 

Just last week, emergency teams were called out to Wrexham Industrial Estate to protect supplies of the Oxford jab from flood water.

Excess water surrounded buildings at Wockhardt’s pharmaceutical facility during a deluge of rain caused by Storm Christoph. 

A North Wales Police spokesperson said: 'We are currently dealing with an ongoing incident on the Wrexham Industrial Estate' (police at the site, pictured)

A North Wales Police spokesperson said: ‘We are currently dealing with an ongoing incident on the Wrexham Industrial Estate’ (police at the site, pictured)

Gary Creighton - who lives near the industrial estate - said he was notified of the incident today by a friend who works at the the Wockhardt factory. Pictured: Police at the scene

Gary Creighton – who lives near the industrial estate – said he was notified of the incident today by a friend who works at the the Wockhardt factory. Pictured: Police at the scene

The warehouse appeared completely empty with no equipment or machinery visible at the time.

The vaccines were believed to have been moved to a different, secret location. 

The leader of Wrexham County Borough said authorities worked ‘through the night’ to ensure that the site was not overwhelmed by flood water.

Mark Pritchard said on Thursday morning resources such as gullies had been put in place to protect the vaccine storage facility on the industrial estate.

‘I’m sure you are aware that the Oxford vaccine is manufactured there and we had to work with the company logistically with their storage facility, that was under possibility of flooding,’ he told Sky News.

‘So we worked through the night with that and that was a success. This could have had an impact not just in Wrexham, Wales, but across the whole country with the vaccination supplies.’

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