A major fire has broken out at a building in the Serum Institute of India’s Pune campus. This is, however, not the building where Covishield vaccine is being manufactured. Officials have said the Covid vaccine production has not been affected by the fire.
Ten fire tenders are on the spot and are trying to douse the flames. One team of the National Disaster Response Force has also been rushed to control the fire that broke out at 2.45 pm. The cause of the fire at the Serum Institute plant is not yet known.
The fire broke out at an under-construction building at the Serum Institute’s premises. Sources said initially four people were trapped inside of which three have been rescued.
The Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the Covishield vaccine developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Covishield is one of the two Covid-19 vaccines that have been granted emergency use approval in India.
The under-construction building where the fire broke out is adjacent to the plant where Covishield is being produced. The exact nature of damage caused by the fire is not known yet.
The under-construction building is located near the Terminal 1 gate.The site where the fire broke out is an under-construction building at Serum Institute of India, Pune. The vaccine and vaccine manufacturing plant are safe.
Reacting to the fire at the Pune plant of Serum Institute, Maharashtra minister Rajendra Shingne said the fire has not impacted the manufacturing site for Covid-19 vaccine. “The fire has largely hit the BCG vaccine manufacturing site,” he said.
Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said no lives have been lost in the fire tragedy so far.
“Thank you everyone for your concern and prayers. So far the most important thing is that there have been no lives lost or major injuries due to the fire, despite a few floors being destroyed,” Adar Poonawalla said in a tweet.
“The fire broke out at Manjri plant. Production wasn’t done there but preparation was on to begin it at a later stage. Fire fighting operation is on. The building has been vacated but we’re re-checking. The fire will be doused in an hour. No problem at vaccine plant/storage,” Pune Police Commissioner was quoted.
According to sources, priliminary investigation suggests that plant where the fire broke out today didn’t have a vaccine preparation wing.
Authorities in Pune have now rushed a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to the Serum Institute of India to control the fire that broke out at 2.45pm.
The Pune Police have informed that three people have been rescued from the building where the fire broke out today.
“We are focussing on rescuing the people stuck. I dont care about anything else. We are looking out to save our people first. We will asses the damage later,” Adar Poonawalla said.
Authorities have rushed more fire tenders to the Serum Institute plant where a fire broke out today. Sources say floors on the upper level of the building are the ones that have been mostly affected.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office has said he is in touch with the Pune Municipal Commissioner and is taking updates on the fire at the Serum Institute of India.
“CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray is in touch with the Pune Municipal Commissioner and is taking complete on-ground updates. He has directed the state machinery to coordinate and ensure that the situation is under control,” the CMO said in a tweet.