Massive fire breaks out at Serum Institute’s under-construction plant
On Thursday, a huge fire was reported at the Serum Institute of India in the Manjri area of Pune. Approximately 10 fire tenders have rushed to SII. SII is currently manufacturing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
The fire broke out at an under construction building inside the institute’s campus at around 2.50 pm. The visuals of the fire showed massive plumes of smoke coming out of the buildings. Officials said, “A fire broke out at Terminal 1 gate and the fire continues to rage at the fourth and fifth floors of SEZ3 building inside Terminal Gate 1. The site where the fire broke out is an under-construction building at SII. The vaccine and vaccine manufacturing plant are safe.”
An officer from Pune Fire Brigade said, “After getting information, we have rushed 10 fire tenders to control the fire.” Water tenders were also sent to the spot.
There were 4 people inside the building and 3 have been rescued so far. The fire has not been brought under control as yet. The large smoke is hampering the rescue operation.
The fire was reported on the fifth floor of the plant, where BCG-vaccine related work has been going on. The BCG vaccine is administered against tuberculosis.
The cause of the fire is not known as yet, but it is suspected to be linked to the massive construction work that is taking place at this site.
The Covishield vaccine against COVID-19, developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, is being manufactured domestically in India by SII. Country’s apex drugs regulator had granted restricted emergency use permission to SII’s Covishield. According to the sources at ANI, “Fire in the Serum Institute of India has happened at the Manjari plant. It is not going to affect Covidshield vaccine production.”
Adar Poonawalla, CEO-Owner, Serum Institute of India said. ”Thank you everyone for your concern & prayers. So far the most important thing is that there’ve been no lives lost or major injuries due to fire, despite a few floors being destroyed.”
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar reviewed the fire in Serum Institute over the phone.
More details about the mishap are awaited.