A tornado tore through a Pfizer facility in North Carolina on Wednesday, damaging at least 50,000 pallets of medication at one of the world’s largest sterile injectable product facilities, authorities said.
The Pfizer plant, located in Rocky Mount, was heavily damaged by the storm, video of the aftermath shows.
“We can confirm that the Pfizer Rocky Mount facility was damaged by the tornado,” the pharmaceutical company said in a statement. “Pfizer colleagues at the site followed our established safety protocol and were able to evacuate. They are safe and accounted for.”
“We are assessing the situation to determine the impact on production,” Pfizer added. “Our thoughts are with our colleagues, our patients, and the community as we rebuild from this weather incident.”
The Pfizer plant was destroyed by an EF-3 tornado, according to the National Weather Service.
“The tornado survey results are in! The Dortches-Battleboro NC Tornado was on the ground for 16.5 miles and produced peak winds of 150 mph,” the National Weather Service in Raleigh tweeted. “This is the first EF-3 tornado ever observed in central North Carolina in the month of July! #NCwx.”
Earlier this year, two people were confirmed killed after a substantial tornado hit the town of Cole, south of Oklahoma City.
The tornado leveled homes in the area, destroyed a wedding venue, and came amid an outbreak of severe weather, including other tornadoes, across the region, Accuweather reported.
In April, at least 32 people were also killed in a deadly storm system that tore through several states, spawning massive tornados and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. One of the residents impacted by the tornado captured “crazy footage” of the storm.
This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.