National Affairs

Fire Breaks Out At Pune’s Serum Institute, Officials Say Covishield Production Won’t Be Hit

A fire broke out at the Manjri plant Serum Institute Of India, SII, Pune, on Thursday afternoon. The plant produces multiple vaccines along with Covishield. The cause of fire is being investigated, said fire brigade officials. According to SII executive director Dr Suresh Jadhav, the fire was reported at the facility where BCG vaccine-related work was on. The facility where Covishield vaccine is being manufactured and stored is far away from this facility, said Jadhav. The call was received at 2.50pm after which 10 fire tenders and at least two tankers have been rushed to the spot, said Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohol. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office tweeted, “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.” Pune Police commissioner Amitabh Gupta said, “The primary information was that there’s a fire on the fourth and fifth floor of the building in the Manjri plant of the institute. No production was going on at the moment. Fortunately, there is no casualty. The first count of people has been done and a second count is going on. We are hoping that the fire will be brougth under control in the next hour.” SII official Vivek Pradhan also confirmed that the plant wasn’t involved in Covishied production.“This plant has nothing to do with Covishield. The Covishield plant is at least a km away from this building. Only raw material was inside this building. Nobody is trapped there. There were not more than 5-6 people in that space,” he said. SII CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted, “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.”

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