A major fire broke out on Thursday at the Serum Institute of India, a Pune-based vaccine manufacturing company.
The company is involved in the development of the Covid-19 Covishield vaccine, produced by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, which has recently been approved for emergency use in India and is being used for inoculation in the mega vaccination drive of the country.
Deputy Police Commissioner Namrata Patil told PTI that the fire broke out at 2:45 pm on the fourth and fifth floors of the Serum Institute’s SEZ 3 site. The location of the mishap was reached by 10 fire tenders. There was also one NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) team heading to the site. Operations to tackle firefighting are ongoing.
PTI claimed that the Manjari factory, where the fire broke out, is where the Covishield vaccine is made. The cause of the fire has yet to be identified, said the official.
Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said there would be no loss of Covishield production due to the fire.
The ANI further made a statement that, “A building under construction at SII is the location where the fire broke out. The Vaccines and Vaccine manufacturing plant are safe”.
The mishap later contributed to the death of five individuals while four were rescued by the rescue team, Pune Mayor said. Four people were evacuated from the building but five bodies were found by our jawbones when it came under control, “Four people were evacuated from the building but when it came under control, five bodies were found by our jawans.”