Tianjin explosions hit GSK pharma production site

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Glaxosmithkline

A fireball from a series of blasts in Tianjin, northern China
A fireball from a series of blasts in Tianjin, northern China
Explosions last week at a warehouse in Tianjin, China hit a GSK drug manufacturing plant, in-Pharmatechnologist.com can reveal.

A spokesperson told this publication the GlaxoSmithKline site, which was impacted by a series of blasts last Wednesday night, manufactures pharmaceuticals. It did not reveal which drug products are affected.

GSK has two businesses in the Tianjin industrial area: Sino-American Tianjin Smith Kline & French Laboratories Ltd., and GSK (Tianjin) Co. Ltd., both pharmaceutical joint ventures with local companies.

No GSK employees were injured in the explosions. “Immediate actions have been taken to ensure the safety of our employees and their family members, and we are assessing the damage to the site,​” the company told us.

GSK’s two Tianjin businesses will jointly donate 1m RMB ($156,000) cash to the Red Cross to help the emergency response. The firm said it is “on standby to provide essential medicines.​”

Warehouse had ‘expired licence’

Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) in northern China is an important state-sponsored industrial zone, housing multinationals including Novozymes, Samsung, and Toyota.

A series of blasts on August 12 around 11.30pm local time at the Port of Tianjin killed more than 100 people, and many are still missing.

China’s state-run media is reporting executives have been detained from Tianjin Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistics, which owns the warehouse at the centre of the explosions.  

The company was handling hazardous chemicals under an expired license, an insider told Xinhua news agency.

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