Man arrested for allegedly mailing a fake bomb to coronavirus vaccine plant

Thomas Catenacci, DCNF

A British man was arrested and charged for allegedly mailing a suspicious package to a coronavirus vaccine production plant in Wales, U.K., forcing an evacuation of the facility.

Anthony Collins, 53, is accused of sending a package that was intended to appear like an explosive, but wasn’t actually explosive, to a U.K. plant manufacturing the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, according to The Associated Press. Collins was arrested Thursday, the same day the plant received the package and was forced to evacuate, police said.

“[Collins] has since been charged with dispatching an article by post with the intention of inducing the belief it is likely to explode or ignite,” Kent, U.K. police said in a statement Saturday.

The U.K. Ministry of Defense sent a bomb squad to assist police officers in handling the package at the plant after it was evacuated, according to the AP. Authorities soon concluded that the package was benign and couldn’t be detonated.

The plant is run by Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company Wockhardt, the AP reported.

The U.K. vaccination effort is the most ambitious of its kind in the nation’s history, the BBC reported. More than 7.8 million people have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and the government aims to vaccinate 15 million by mid-February.

The U.K. reported 29,079 new coronavirus cases and 1,245 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, according to The New York Times. The figures represent a decline in new cases, but increasing deaths compared to the previous 14-day period.

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