At least five people have died in a massive fire that broke out at Terminal 1 gate of the Serum Institute of India in Pune on Thursday afternoon.
The fire was reported at a building near the Terminal 1 gate of the institute which is located in the Manjri area of the city.
According to preliminary information, all people have been evacuated from the building.
As many as 15 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames. It took around 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.
Police and local administration officials have also reached the site and rescue and relief operations have been launched.
The exact cause of the blaze is yet to be ascertained, but according to preliminary information, the fire began on the second floor inside one of the buildings.
The SII is manufacturing a Covid-19 vaccine called Covishield.
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.
The vaccine developed by the Oxford University and pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca.
It is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer founded by Cyrus Poonawalla in 1966.
Reports suggest that the fire engulfed one of the production plants of the SII.
The plant is located near the manufacturing unit of Covishield.
Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla: “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.”
Five dead in fire at Serum Institute
Four people were evacuated from the building but when it came under control, five bodies were found by our jawans, says Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol
No casualties reported so far: Maharashtra CM
Speaking on the incident, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray said: “As per the information we have received, the fire is under control. There have been no casualties so far. The fire had not broken out at the COVID vaccine unit. Six people have been rescued. Prima facie it seems that the fire was caused by an electric fault. The COVID vaccine is safe. I have not spoken to Adar Poonawalla till now.”