Deadly explosions at drug manufacturing facilities are uncommon, but they do happen, and for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA), they have happened twice in about 14 months. The latest fatal blast occurred about the same time a Canadian maker of omega-3-based drugs started work on the plant after a deadly explosion last fall.
An explosion and fire at a Teva active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant in Ramat Hovav, Israel, on May 23 killed one worker and injured 30 others, according to Pharmafile. Authorities believe the explosion occurred in a reactor at the API plant. The company issued a statement offering its "condolences" to the families of the workers who were hurt. A probe has been ordered by local authorities.
A fatal blast and fire at a Pliva plant in Zagreb, Croatia, in March 2012 killed one worker and injured 16 others. Pliva is owned by Teva. That fire was believed to have been started by a static electric spark that ignited powder at the plant. The shutdown stemming from the event disrupted drug supplies for Pliva for some weeks.
In November, 3 employees of Neptune Technologies & Bioressources ($NEPT) were killed and another 18 injured when an explosion leveled its omega-3 manufacturing facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The company said last week that it has started reconstruction, building on an expansion project that was under way when the the explosion occurred. The company says it expects to complete the work by the end of its fiscal year, and the new facility will be able to manufacture 150,000 kg of krill oil annually.
Editor's note: The story was updated to reflect that there were three people killed and 18 injured in the explosion of the Neptune plant.