Five dead in Serum Institute fire; Covishield facility unaffected

Pune: Five men died after a fire broke out in a five-storeyed under-construction building in the Serum Institute of India's Manjari premises in Pune on Thursday, police said.

All were construction workers whose bodies were recovered by fire brigade personnel from the fifth floor, police said, adding nine others were evacuated from the spot.

Covishield vaccine production won't be hit due to the fire, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said.

The Manjari facility is where the Covishield vaccines used in the nationwide inoculation drive against the pandemic are made. The building where fire broke out is one km from the Covishield vaccine manufacturing unit, sources said.

"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," Poonawalla tweeted.

"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," Poonawalla added.

Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said fire officials recovered the five bodies during the cooling operation.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the state government has ordered a probe into the fire.

The fire, which broke out at 2.45 pm on the fourth and fifth floors of the building, was brought under control in two hours, police said.

 

 

 

Asianet.in/NewsDesk: Asianet Online