Video shows moment a tornado descended on NC Pfizer facility
Video shows tornado tearing through North Carolina and destroying the roof of a Pfizer plant
- The tornado, categorized as an EF-3 packed winds of up to 150 mph, and partially destroyed the company’s Rocky Mount plant on Wednesday
- The FDA Commissioner said Friday the agency does not expect any immediate significant impact on supply following damage from a tornado
- The 3,200 Pfizer employees and contractors work, were reportedly able to evacuate safely and find shelter before the storm touched down
A wild video shows the moment a tornado descended on a North Carolina Pfizer facility, kicking up debris and leveling the roof of the medical supply company.
The tornado was categorized as an EF-3, according to the National Weather Service, packed winds of up to 150 miles per hour, partially decimating the company’s Rocky Mount storage plant on Wednesday.
Though experts feared the damaged plant will create long-term shortages of certain drugs, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration Dr. Robert Califf said Friday the agency ‘does not expect any immediate significant impact on supply following damage from a tornado,’ Fox Business reported.
‘Those products produced at this facility that are already in, or may be at risk of shortage, the FDA has initiated mitigation steps, such as looking for additional sources and asking other manufacturers to prepare to ramp up production, if needed,’ Califf said.
He also said Pfizer had put the inventor of many products on strict allocation to ensure equitable distribution and availability and avoid hoarding.
The Pfizer facility in Mount Rocky, North Carolina was hit hard by the powerful EF3 tornado
Dashcam footage captured the powerful winds and flying debris that battered the region
The tornado started near Nashville, North Carolina, around 12:35pm, and swept northeast through Rocky Mount, 60 miles east of Raleigh, where it decimated the Pfizer facility.
The powerful weather system battered the region and caused a partial roof collapse at Pfizer’s Rocky Mount facility on Wednesday. The plant is one of the largest of its kind in the world and supplies nearly 25 percent of all sterile injectables used in US hospitals.
Some 50,000 pallets of medicine were damaged, according to officials.
‘It will likely lead to long-term shortages while Pfizer works to either move production to other sites or rebuilds,’ Erin Fox, senior pharmacy director at University of Utah Health, told CBS News earlier in the week.
In a statement on social media, Califf described the recent events as a ‘dynamic situation and FDA staff are in frequent communication with Pfizer and other manufacturers.’
‘Importantly, we do not expect there to be any immediate significant impacts on supply given the products are currently at hospitals and in the distribution system,’ he said, in part.
‘The FDA will work closely with partners in government, industry and the broader health care system to minimize impact on patient care.’
Some 50,000 pallets of medicine were damaged, according to officials. The destruction threatens the production of anesthetics and other sterile injectables
The Pfizer plant, seen before the devastation, produces vials, syringes, IV bags and bottles of anesthesia, analgesia, therapeutics, anti-infectives and neuromuscular blockers
The tornado started near Nashville, North Carolina, around 12:35pm, and swept northeast through Rocky Mount, 60 miles east of Raleigh, where it decimated the Pfizer facility
The pharmaceutical giant said in a statement all employees were safely evacuated and there were no reports of serious injuries in the plant.
The 3,200 Pfizer employees and contractors work, were reportedly able to evacuate safely and find shelter before the storm touched down Wednesday.
Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said large quantities of medicine stored at the plant were tossed about during the tornado.
‘I’ve got reports of 50,000 pallets of medicine that are strewn across the facility and damaged through the rain and the wind,’ the official said, according to CBS News.
Officials in two counties say 16 people were injured – including two with life-threatening wounds – and 89 buildings were damaged.
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