Regulatory & Safety

Aurobindo extinguishes fire reports; Amgen confirms explosion

13-Jan-2014 - By Dan Stanton+
Rumours of an explosion at Aurobindo not true, the firm says
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Aurobindo has denied reports of a boiler blast at an Andhra Pradesh, India facility whilst Amgen is investigating an incident at its San Francisco R&D site.

Shares in the Indian drugmaker dropped by almost 4% last Thursday following reports in the Indian media that an accidental boiler blast caused a fire at its pharma manufacturing unit in Mahabubnagar, near Hyderabad.

Aurobindo was quick to deny such an event in an announcement filed with the Bombay Stock Exchange, saying “the Company clarifies that there has been no such incidence and cautions all shareholders and investors not to take cognizance of these unverified reports.”

The Hindu Business Line, who first published the news, said its sources were local revenue officials who told them there had been no loss of life or injuries at the plant.

The paper also reported a fire several days earlier at a neighbouring manufacturing unit run by API and finished dose maker Hetero Drugs. In-Pharmatechnologist.com contacted Hetero for confirmation of such an incident but did not receive a reply at the time of going to press.

Amgen

Across the globe, reports of an explosion that injured two workers at Amgen’s South San Francisco, US, R&D facility last week have been substantiated.

Spokesperson Ashleigh Koss confirmed the event to in-Pharmatechnologist.com, adding the two individuals affected have received medical attention and “an investigation has begun to determine the cause.”

The incident occurred last Wednesday and Koss said: “We worked with the South San Francisco Fire Department to address the situation with the safety of our employees being our first priority.”

In May 2013, there was a flash fire at the same facility which led to serious burns to a worker who was collecting hazardous waste, the San Meteo County Times reported.

“The incidents from May 2013 and yesterday are unrelated,” Koss told us. “Safety in the workplace is a priority for Amgen. We continue to cooperate fully with CalOSHA [The Californian department of Occupational Safety and Health] and are taking appropriate action to ensure the safety of our staff.”

Related topics: Regulatory & Safety, QA/QC, Regulations, North America, Asia Pacific