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Massive fire at Serum Institute, vaccine production not impacted

Three persons were evacuated from a building in the Serum Institute of India’s Manjari premises in Pune 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.

 

‘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 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.

The building where the fire broke out is part of the under-construction site of the Serum facility and is 1 km from the Covishield manufacturing unit, sources said.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the state government has 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 that there is 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 is brought under control, his office tweeted.

He is in touch with the Pune Municipal Commissioner, the CMO added.