Explosion, fire at Teva's Pliva plant turns deadly

An explosion and fire at the Pliva plant in Croatia has turned fatal. One of the 9 workers injured in the fire March 16 has died and another remains hospitalized, the company said in a statement sent to FiercePharmaManufacturing.

"All injured employees were hospitalized, and the 7 employees discharged from hospital on 17 March. Unfortunately, one of the two most severely injured employees died on 19 March. The other injured employee is in stable condition and recovering," Tamara Susanj Sulentic, communications director, said in the email.

Production has been halted during the investigation but is expected to resume shortly, Sulentic said. Pliva is owned by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) and in addition to making 80% of Pliva's pharmaceuticals for Croatia, the Zagreb plant manufactures significant amounts of active ingredients for other Teva drugs. The facility also has research and development operations for pharmaceuticals sold on the European market. Pliva has about 6,000 employees.

The fire was started by a static electricity spark, according to Ekonom:east Media Group. The explosion "set on fire the mixture for the production of the Plivadon medicine on the 5th floor of the Pharmaceutical Technical Operations building. The fire was contained and put out by the company's fire-fighting unit." No threat to the environment or the population was created by the fire, authorities said. Experts from outside Croatia will be included in the investigation, according to the report.

- get details from the Croatian Times