Major Fire Break at Serum Institute: 5 killed, Covishield vaccine manufacturing unaffected
At least five people were killed when a fire broke out in an under-construction building in Serum Institute of India’s campus in Pune. The fire did not affect the production of the Covid-19 vaccine, the company has said.
At least people lost their lives when a major fire broke out at the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune on Thursday afternoon. The fire broke out in a building on the world’s largest vaccine producer’s 100-acre campus in the Manjri area of the city at around 2.45 pm. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
The Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the Covishield vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
While the fire sent the alarm bells ringing across the globe, the company has confirmed that it did not affect the production of the Covid-19 vaccine.
It took at least 15 fire tenders almost two hours to douse the fire, which was reported from an under-construction building quite far away from the plant manufacturing Covid-19 vaccine Covishield.
When and where fire broke out?
The fire broke out at around 2.45 pm on Thursday on the fourth and fifth floors of an under-construction building in the Serum Institute’s campus in the Manjri area.
The under-construction building is located near the Terminal 1 gate and is quite far away from the Covid-19 manufacturing facility.
It took around 15 fire tenders almost two hours to douse the fire.
What was the damage caused by the fire?
When the fire broke there were over a dozen people trapped inside the building, while nine people were rescued safely, five suffered fatal injuries.
Chief Fire Officer Prashant Ranpise said that the fire also gutted furniture, wiring and cabins. No major machinery or instruments were stored on the floors where the fire broke out, he said.
Was Covishiled manufacturing affected?
The Serum Insitute has assured that the manufacturing of the Covid-19 vaccine Covishielf was not affected by the incident.
“I would like to reassure all governments & the public that there would be no loss of #COVISHIELD production due to multiple production buildings that I had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies at @SerumInstIndia,” SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said in a tweet.
State govt orders probe
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the state government has ordered a probe into the fire.
“I have taken information from the Pune Municipal Corporation about the incident and instruction has been given to carry out a detailed probe into the incident, Pawar said.
He said that there is no impact on the vaccine making process there due to the fire.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked the state machinery to ensure that the fire is brought under control, his office tweeted. He is in touch with the Pune Municipal Commissioner, the CMO added.
Centre takes stock of situation
Union minister Prakash Javadekar spoke to officials in Pune and took stock of the fire that broke out at the plant of the Serum Institute of India. The authorities also dispatched a team of Nationa Disaster Response Force (NRDF) to control the fire.