Hearth breaks out at Pune’s Serum Institute; 5 charred our bodies recovered


Pune, January 21

Five charred bodies were recovered from Serum Institute of India building where a fire broke out in the afternoon, a fire official said on Thursday. 

Three persons were evacuated from a building in the Serum Institute of India’s Manjari premises here after a fire broke out there on Thursday, police said.

There is no impact on the Covishield vaccine-making process as the fire broke out in a facility away from the place where the anti-coronavirus vaccines are made, sources said.

Smoke billows out after a fire broke out at the Serum Institute of India, in Pune on Thursday. PTI Photo

“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,” Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Namrata Patil told PTI the fire broke out at 2.45 pm on the fourth and fifth floor of the SEZ 3 building in the Serum Institute premises.

“Three people have been evacuated,” she said.

Viral visuals from the site showed smoke billowing out from the Serum Institute facility.

“We have sent water tenders to the spot,” a fire brigade official said, adding the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

The Manjari facility is where the Covishield vaccine used in the nationwide inoculation drive against the pandemic is made.

Smoke billows out after a fire broke out at the Serum Institute of India, in Pune on Thursday. PTI Photo

The building where the fire broke out is part of the under-construction site of the Serum facility and is one km from the Covishield manufacturing unit, sources said.

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

“I have taken information from the Pune Municipal Corporation about the incident and an instruction has been given to carry out a detailed probe into the incident,” Pawar said.

He said there was no impact on the vaccine-making process there due to the fire.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked the state machinery to ensure that the fire was brought under control, his office tweeted. He was in touch with the Pune Municipal Commissioner, the CMO added. PTI



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