Five persons were found dead after a massive fire broke out today at world’s biggest vaccine-maker Serum Institute of India’s Pune facility.
The fire occurred at a building that is under construction. A few persons trapped in the building were rescued.
“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,” Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted.
It took around three hours for firemen to bring the blaze under control. The cause of the fire is still not known, according to a fire officer.
NDTV that provided the update said the fire is unlikely to affect the production of Covishield, the coronavirus vaccine developed by the SII in partnership with the Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca.
Mr Poonawalla had earlier told NDTV: “We are trying to rescue one or two people, that’s our only priority now. We will assess the situation later on the damage on all other counts.”
The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, is spread over 100 acres in Pune.
Manjari, the complex where the fire broke out, is a few minutes’ drive from the facility where the Covid vaccines are produced, sources said. It is believed to be part of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
About eight or nine buildings are being constructed at the Manjari complex to deal with future pandemics and these are aimed at enhancing the SII’s manufacturing capability.