Kinston Plant Expanding 8 Years After Deadly Explosion

Six employees were killed in an explosion at the West Pharmaceutical Services plant in Kinston in 2003. The company rebuilt after that and now says its expanding even more.

The plant's CEO says he has decided to stay in Lenoir County and invest more money due to the great relationship they have with lenoir county and the state.

Employees are hard at work at West Pharmaceutical in Lenoir County 8 years after the previous plant exploded killing 6 employees and injuring 36. After the tragedy, CEO Don Morel said they made the decision to stay in Lenoir County.

" Looking at the images coming from the helicopter it was bad and was very sad to lose 6 members of the West family. We think about them every year on January 29th, but I think more importantly because of them we decided to stay here was the more important thing to do," said Morel.

That decision has added more than $49million in investments to Kinston since they built their new plant in 2007, which includes the $29 million that will be put into the company over the next 5 years.

Lenoir County will benefit from the expansion with added jobs that produce billions of products for the medical field each year.

In any given year we'll make 36 billion pieces of something that is consumed in the health care markets, so when your kids go to get a shot we make the rubber components on the vile and the rubber components on the syringe," said Morel.

The company does not know exactly how many jobs they will be adding but says there will be additional jobs over time.

The expansion will not include construction of additional buildings. The company plans to build with in the current plan that already exsists.

West Pharmaceutical Services chose the Kinston plant over other plants in Florida and Nebraska.


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