ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- A tornado heavily damaged a large Pfizer pharmaceutical plant in North Carolina on Wednesday, scattering medicine and other debris around the complex.
Pfizer said its large complex in Rocky Mount was damaged by a twister that tore through Nash County.
"We are assessing the situation to determine the impact on production," the company said. "Our thoughts are with our colleagues, our patients, and the community as we rebuild from this weather incident."
A Pfizer employee who spoke to ABC11 said it happened in a span of 60 to 90 seconds and there was no time to think. He said first the lights flickered inside the facility and then he said it sounded "like a bomb went off.
The worker said he and his group immediately ran to a designated safety area.
The worker said he was too shaken up to speak on camera. He said he believed everyone in his crew was safe.
There were no serious injuries, Pfizer said.
Aerial video shows damage to Pfizer facility
In stark contrast, another employee who was in a lab in a different part of the facility several hundred yards away told ABC11 that she didn't even hear the tornado.
She said she only realized something was amiss when the lights flickered and ultimately turned off.
Fallen trees ripped down part of the fencing along the perimeter of the Pfizer property. Cleanup crews were working to remove debris and make repairs.
The tornado's path started just west of Nashville, traveling northeast through Red Oak, crossing I-95 north of US 64 before running out of energy just before Scotland Neck.
Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said the Pfizer plant stores large quantities of medicine, and he added that debris was spread all around. The plant's warehouse area sustained the brunt of the damage.
Nash County tornado path
"I've got reports of 50,000 pallets of medicine that are strewn across the facility and damaged through the rain and the wind," he said.
Pfizer is one of the largest employers in the county.
The National Weather Service said the twister was an EF-3 tornado with winds of up to 150 mph.
The Associated Press contributed.