Accident Description

Accident: West Pharmaceutical Services Dust Explosion and Fire

Location: Location: Kinston, NC

Accident Occurred On: 01/29/2003 | Final Report Released On: 09/23/2004

Accident Type: Combustible Dust Explosion and Fire

Investigation Status: The Board voted 4-0 to approve the final report on this investigation at a public meeting in Kinston on September 23, 2004.

On January 29, 2003, an explosion and fire destroyed the West Pharmaceutical Services plant in Kinston, North Carolina, causing six deaths, dozens of injuries, and hundreds of job losses. The facility produced rubber stoppers and other products for medical use. The fuel for the explosion was a fine plastic powder, which accumulated above a suspended ceiling over a manufacturing area at the plant and ignited.