London — A plant in Wales where doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca
"The roads are currently closed and we would ask the public to avoid the area until further notice," the force said in a statement. It did not provide details.
The BBC reported that a bomb disposal unit has been called to deal with a suspicious package and said there were no reports of injuries. A man who works in a neighboring unit on the industrial site told the BBC that he had heard "a hell of an explosion or a bang."
"I went outside, couldn't see anything. I looked the other side and two blokes were on the roof," John Roberts told the BBC. "The next thing the police had blocked off the road and were looking in the bushes."
Wockhardt UK, an arm of the Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company that is producing thevaccine at the Wrexham manufacturing site, confirmed that a suspicious package was received, and "all relevant authorities were immediately notified and engaged."
"Upon expert advice we have partially evacuated the site pending a full investigation," Wockhardt said, adding that the "safety of our employees and business continuity remain of paramount importance."
"Production at the Wockhardt site is currently on hold while the situation is resolved, because the safety of our staff is paramount," the firm told the BBC in a subsequent statement, adding that it still hoped to meet its "previously approved production schedule."
The company struck an agreement with the British government, which reserved a production line at the plant to guarantee the supply of the COVID-19 vaccines. The plant has the capacity to produce 300 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine annually.
The company recently hosted Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hailed the agreement as a milestone in Britain's vaccine distribution program.