Pune, Jan 21, 2021: At least five persons died and nine were evacuated from a building in the Serum Institute of India’s Manjari premises in Pune after a fire broke out at the facility on Thursday, police said.
At least five persons died and nine were evacuated from a building in the Serum Institute of India’s Manjari premises in Pune after a fire broke out at the facility on Thursday, police said.
The Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the coronavirus vaccine, ’Covishield’, that was developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca. The vaccine was given emergency use approval by India’s top drug regulator earlier in January, and was rolled out on 16 January.
#WATCH Maharashtra: 10 fire tenders present at Serum Institute of India in Pune, where a fire broke out at Terminal 1 gate. More details awaited. https://t.co/wria89t22t pic.twitter.com/u960KTR7JS — ANI (@ANI) January 21, 2021
However, sources said that ’Covishield’ production would not be affected due to the incident, with the vaccine manufacturing plant safe.
The deceased have not been identified yet. According to news agency ANI, the fire affected the fourth and fifth floors of the SEZ3 building.
As many as 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot when the fire broke out.
As per reports, the fire took place at an under-construction unit at Manjri.
Taking to Twitter, Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla said "there would be no loss of Covishield production due to multiple production buildings that I had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies".
Deputy Commissioner of Police Namrata Patil told PTI the fire broke out at 2.45 pm on the fourth and fifth floor of the SEZ 3 building in the Serum Institute premises. "As per the primary information, three people have been evacuated," she said. The company’s CEO Adar Poonawalla said "the most important thing is that there have been no lives lost or major injuries due to the fire, despite a few floors being destroyed."
‘We have just received some distressing updates; upon further investigation we have learnt that there has unfortunately been some loss of life at the incident. We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the departed,’ SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said.