Serum Institute Fire LIVE Updates: A fire has again broken out in the same building at the Serum Institute of India in Pune where five people were killed in a blaze in the afternoon today. Pune’s Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said five charred bodies were found after the blaze was brought under control. A few more trapped in the building were rescued. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but it is being speculated that welding work caused the fire, he said.
The company’s CEO earlier said there was no loss of lives, but later revised his statement after the deaths were confirmed. He said there was no impact on the Covishield vaccine making process as the fire was in a facility away from the place where the anti-coronavirus vaccines are made. 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.
The Maharashtra government announced that an inquiry has been launched into the incident, even as the company’s CEO Adar Poonawalla assured that the fire will not result in any loss of Covishield production. He said multiple production buildings had been kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies.
Fire Audit Tomorrow: Ajit Pawar | Contractor's men were working on that floor (where the fire broke out) and when the fire brigade officials went there, they found five completely burnt bodies. Two of them were from UP, two from Pune and one is from Bihar. Fire brigade has done good work. As per my info, CM will also visit the site tomorrow. The place where COVID vaccine is manufactured was not affected. I was informed that preparation was going on at this building (site of fire) to make Rotavirus vaccine. Our government is trying its best to gather more information. Energy Audit teams have been instructed to conduct fire audit, they will do it tomorrow: Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar.
Chief Fire Officer Prashant Ranpise said 15 water tankers were pressed into action and the fire was brought under control around 4.30 pm. "The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Furniture, wiring, cabins were gutted. No major machinery or instruments were stored on the floors where the fire broke out," he said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said it was distressing to learn of the tragic loss of lives in a fire incident at a Serum Institute of India facility and urged the state government to provide necessary help to the victims and their families. "While it's distressing to learn of the tragic loss of lives in the fire incident at Serum Institute, the news of another fire is extremely worrying," Gandhi said in a tweet. "My condolences to the family of the deceased. I request the state govt to provide necessary help to the victims & their families," he said.
Rahul Gandhi Condoles Death | While it's distressing to learn of the tragic loss of lives in the fire incident at Serum Institute, the news of another fire is extremely worrying. My condolences to the family of the deceased. I request the state govt to provide necessary help to the victims and their families: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Extremely Sorrowful Day: SII MD | Today is an extremely sorrowful day for all of us at Serum Institute of India. Regrettably, there were losses of lives in the fire that broke out in our under installation facility situated at the Special Economic Zone at Manjri. We are deeply saddened and offer our condolences to the families of the departed. In this regard, we will be offering a compensation of INR 25 lakhs to each of the families, in addition to the mandated amount as per the norms. We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone for their concerns and prayers in these distressing times: Serum Institute of India Chairman & Managing Director Cyrus S Poonawalla.
In Pics | Serum Institute of India Fire: Dark Clouds of Smoke Rise from the Building, Covishield Facility Safe
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the state government has ordered a probe into the fire.
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Those Dead May Be Construction Workers: Mayor | The five people who died, were perhaps the workers at the under-construction building. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but it is being speculated that welding, that was going on at the building, caused the fire: Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol
Lives Lost in SII Fire | 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: SII CEO Adar Poonawalla.
Photos and videos from the scene showed dark, thick clouds of smoke rising from the building, but there were no casualties or injuries because of the fire. The fire was reported at the institute’s biotechnology park, inaugurated by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan last year. A total of 15 fire engines, and ambulances were rushed to the spot and the blaze was brought under control.
Amid concerns over impact on the production of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, the government has said there has not been much damage to the area where vaccines are manufactured. Further, the facility, where fire has been reported, is used for manufacturing Rotavirus and BCG vaccines and not coronavirus shots.