Earlier this year there was a rash of explosions in various countries including Beirut, Lebanon and Ajman, UAE. This week, a large explosion rocked yet another country as a pharmaceutical factory in northern Taiwan caught fire. The explosion crippled the SCI Pharmtech drug manufacturing facility in T’aoyuan City leaving two injured and causing a major fire on December 20.
The plant is thought to be the second largest supplier of raw materials for hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a 65-year-old drug that has been successfully used to treat Covid-19 but has caused a lot of controversy.
Residents of New Taipei City about 30 miles from the factory reported hearing a massive blast shortly after noon on Sunday. A cloud of thick black smoke could be seen pouring out of the factory as a fire quickly enveloped the structure. The factory is located close to Taipei T’aoyuan International Airport but did not impact operations.
According to Taiwan English News, the T’aoyuan City fire department sent 76 firefighters, 28 tankers, and 2 ambulances to help contain the fire. The cause of the explosion has not been identified and is still under investigation.