A massive fire broke out at a building in Serum Institute of India in Pune on Thursday afternoon resulting the death of five people. Reports suggest that efforts are underway to bring the fire under control.
CEO and owner of Serum Institute of India Adar Poonawalla confirmed the news of those who lost their lives in the fire in a tweet.
In another tweet, Poonawala said the fire will not affect the production of the Covishield vaccine.
Reportedly, the fire broke out at 2 pm in an under-construction building at Manjari complex. Large clouds of smoke are said to be coming out of the building. The complex is situated a few minutes away from the Covid-19 vaccine production facility and is a part of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). SII is constructing eight to nine buildings in the Majari complex to enhance the company’s vaccine manufacturing capacity.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is in touch with the Pune Municipal Corporation and is monitoring the situation.
Reportedly, the fire is unlikely to affect the production of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine produced at SII. There is no clarity on the cause of the fire. According to news reports, four people were inside the building. The fire fighting officers rescued three people despite a large clouds of smoke slowing down the firefighters in bringing the fire under control.
On January 13, SII rolled out 55 lakh doses of the Covishield vaccine from Pune. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited SII to review the vaccine development ahead of the rollout.