Five people were killed after a massive fire was caught in one of the buildings in the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, also known recently for its COVID Vaccine. The production of the coronavirus vaccine Covishield, developed by the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Oxford University and the British-Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca, is unlikely to be affected.
Some more people trapped in the building were rescued safely.
Aadar Poonawala said, ” We have just received some updates. Upon further investigation, we have come to know that some people died in this unfortunate incident. We are deeply saddened and our deepest condolences to the family members”. It took about three hours to bring the fire under control. According to a fire fighting official, the cause of the fire is still not known.
Mr. Poonawala had earlier said: “We are trying to save one or two people, now it is our only priority. We will assess the situation later on the damage done in all other cases. “
Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine-making company, is spread over 100 acres in Pune. Sources said, the compound in which the fire broke out, is a few minutes’ drive from the facility, where the institute produces the COVID-19 vaccine. It is considered part of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
About eight or nine buildings are being constructed in the Manjari campus to deal with future epidemics and are intended to increase the manufacturing capacity of the institute.