Using high-resolution timelapse microscopy, we have followed individual phagocytized fibres through the later stages of division in MeT-5A human mesothelial cells and LLC-MK2monkey epithelial cells. The fibres used were crocidolite and chrysotile asbestos, fibrous glass (MMVF), and refractory ceramic fibres (RCF). Long fibres (15–80μm) trapped within the cleavage furrow can partially or completely block cytokinesis. Cells proceed in one of three ways: (1) eventual completion of cytokinesis; (2) incomplete cytokinesis, resulting in two cells joined by a fibre-containing intercellular channel; or (3) failure of cytokinesis, resulting in a binucleate or trinucleate cell. Two factors associated with fibre-induced bi/trinucleation are: (1) an initial association between the fibre and the forming daughter nuclei, which is sometimes lost over time, and (2) disintegration of the midbody. The studies suggest that delay of cytokinesis by interzonal fibres can result in bi/trinucleation through the loss of midbody/intercellular bridge proteins that are required for completion of cytokinesis.