None hurt in fire at Catalent UK packaging facility

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Influenza

US contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) Catalent has reported that no employees were injured in the fire that occurred at its packaging facility in the UK last week.

The firm said that it is too early to asses the damage at the facility in Corby, Northamptonshire, which employs 18 full time staff, 15 contractors and 8 temporary workers. Production was suspended on Friday.

In a statement emailed to Catalent said: “The site management team, under the leadership of Steve Facer, have implemented our crisis management and business continuity plans and procedures, and have started contacting customers and suppliers​.”

The firm added that the cause of the blaze at the plant on the Oakley Hay Industrial Estate is still being investigated and that it will release more information as it becomes available.

Major fire

The incident was reported by the UK media with the BBC news website describing it as a “major fire” that was eventually brought under control by almost 100 fire-fighters.

A report in the Northampton Evening Telegraph​ suggested that the facility’s roof has collapsed as a result of the blaze.

The paper also spoke with Darren Dovey from the Northamptonshire county fire service, who spoke about the scale of the emergency response.

The two crews from Corby who arrived on the scene first realised it was an escalating incident and immediately called for back-up. They did an excellent job and we managed to contain the fire to the large warehouse area.

He added that: “The fire fractured water pipes in the building and this, added to the amount of water we used, caused a run-off into a nearby brook but the Environment Agency was at the scene dealing with the situation.”

Award winning plant

The fire is sad news for the facility, which was bought from Astra Pharmaceuticals in 2001.

In 2009 it received a high commendation in the Cranfield School of Management and Works Management’s 2009 Best Factory Awards.

The award recognised Catalent’s implementation of lean manufacturing at the plant, citing the Corby team’s performance during the launch of GlaxoSmithKline’s H1N1 influenza treatment Relenza as a highlight.

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