A massive fire broke out at Serum Institute of India in Pune on Thursday afternoon. According to ANI reports, the fire broke out at Terminal 1 gate of Serum Institute of India in Pune. 10 fire tenders have reached the site of the mishap.
According to sources, the fire broke out at a facility of the Serum Institute, which is under construction. It is unlikely to affect the production of Covishield, the coronavirus vaccine developed by the SII, in partnership with the Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca.
Serum Institute of India, which prides itself as “the world’s largest vaccine maker”, is spread over 100 acres in Pune.
Manjari, the complex where the fire broke out, is a few minutes’ drive from the facility where the vaccines are produced, as per sources. It is believed to be a part of a Special Economic Zone.
About eight-nine buildings are being constructed at the Manjari complex. It is aimed to enhance the SII’s manufacturing capability to deal with the future pandemics.
Visuals showed huge plumes of smoke billowing out of the buildings. “There were four people inside the building. We have rescued three so far. However large smoke is hampering the work of bringing the fire in control,” a fire office said.
It’s not yet clear how the fire broke out. It may, however, be linked to the massive construction taking place at the site.
In November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the Serum Institute to review the development of coronavirus vaccine ahead of the rollout.
Adar Poonawalla’s Serum Institute, which is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturing company, has been the manufacturing site for locally produced Oxford Covid-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’.
According to several media reports quoting officials, vaccine production won’t be hit and vaccine storage unit is safe.
India has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Serum’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, are being administered to frontline health workers across the country.
More details awaited…