Roads reopen as controlled explosion concludes Wockhardt vaccine factory incident
Final Update: Police remain at the factory into this evening, with nearby roads now reopened to traffic. As the incident has concluded this is our final update on this article.
Update: Wockhardt UK have said, “We can confirm that the investigation of the suspicious package today has been concluded. The package was made safe and staff are now being allowed back into the facility.”
“We are grateful to the authorities and experts for their swift response and resolution of the incident.”
Update: North Wales Police have given an update on the incident today via the following statement at 4:45PM:
We received a call at 10.41am this morning (Wednesday) reporting that a suspicious package had been received at the Wockhardt factory on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
Officers attended and imposed a security cordon around the site, closing roads to all traffic.
Colleagues from the Royal Logistics Corp Bomb Disposal Unit attended and examined the package to make sure it was safe to handle.
The contents will be taken away for analysis and police will undertake an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
There are no wider concerns for public safety, however some roads on the industrial estate will remain closed whilst we continue our investigations.
Update: We are expecting a fuller North Wales Police statement shortly.
Update: An official update circulated just after 4:20PM states “affected roads and premises on Wrexham Industrial Estate have now reopened” and “the manufacture of Covid-19 vaccine can now resume”.
A “controlled explosion” took place around 3:20PM “without damage to the area”.
Update: Forensic officers are now examining the item. We are expecting a formal update soon on the incident.
Update: The item has been inspected via the robot and now a explosive ordnance disposal officer has approached it.
Update: We have been sent the below video of the bomb disposal robot returning back to the control van, with the cordon still in place while investigations continue.
Update: A bomb disposal officer has been suited up, and we are told locally work is taking place to ensure safety if a controlled explosion is required.
Update: First Minister Mark Drakeford has issued a short statement, “We are working with local police and the military to find out more about this incident. Thank you to the security personnel who are on-site to protect lives and ensure the safety of our vaccine supply. This highlights the vital role they play in keeping us all safe. Diolch.”
Update: Wrexham’s MP Sarah Atherton has said, “I have spoken with Wockhardt Uk and I am assured that they are doing everything to keep their employees and the businesses around them safe. Further updates will, I am sure, come in due course.”
Update: We are told there is a 100m cordon now in place, with a “Gold” command operating the response. We are also unofficially told the incident is ‘not affecting production’.
Police are also attending a different incident around the corner on Bryn Lane by the Kelloggs factory where a lorry has had issues and the road is blocked.
Extra police on the industrial estate is due to a second incident – looks like a lorry has had some issues. Thanks to Terry for this pic. pic.twitter.com/DBtWeJhggE
— Wrexham.com (@wrexham) January 27, 2021
Update: In a statement Wockhardt UK said: “Wockhardt UK in Wrexham this morning received a suspicious package to site. 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 remain of paramount importance.”
Update: The incident involves a suspicious package, and we are told that nearby offices have been evacuated as a cordon has been extended.
The bomb disposal robot being used on site:
Original information below…
The Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit has been called to an incident on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
North Wales Police have told us, “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.”
The local Wockhardt factory has the vital role of “fill finish” in creating Covid-19 vaccines with a range of production lines on the industrial estate, so the location and production is of great importance.
Eyewitness Ian sent us the above and below images of North Wales Police and the the Royal Logistic Corps attending the area around Ash Road North – the location of the Wockhardt factory.
(removed on request)
The factory is currently closed off for access, with Pauline sending the below image of the main road closed outside of the factory:
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