From the reports, World’s Largest Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer is on fire
At least five people are dead after a large fire broke out at the site of the world’s largest vaccine producer located in western India Thursday.
Images from Reuters partner ANI showed black smoke coming from a building which was still under construction at the Serum Institute of India’s facilities in the city of Pune.
Police has started the investigation, they have made a little progress. We've also sought the help of bomb detection squads so that they can come here & help us technically to zero in on the reason that why did the incident take place: KB Shivakumar, Shivamogga District Collector https://t.co/6DuAuOYT3t
— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2021
The fire was brought under control, but officials later announced five people had died.
“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,” Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, tweeted.
“We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the departed.”
Murlidhar Mohol, mayor of Pune city in southern Maharashtra state, said the bodies found in the rubble after the fire was extinguished were likely construction workers, according to The Associated Press. The cause of the fire is unclear at this time.
A suspicious device found in Sector 63 area of Gautam Buddh Nagar
"We cordoned off the area. Expert teams reached here. Prima facie, it appears to be neither an explosive nor a detonator. Bomb Disposal Squad diffused it," says Alok Singh, Police Commissioner, Gautam Buddh Nagar pic.twitter.com/KT4NS3P9JQ
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 22, 2021
Serum Institute of India has been contracted to produce about 50 million doses a month of vaccine developed by Oxford University and Astrazeneca at other facilities on the company’s complex.
In an interview with The Associated Press last month, Poonawalla said he’s aiming to increase production from 1.5 billion doses to 2.5 billion annually by the end of 2021.
The facility under construction was part of the expansion, but Poonawalla said the fire will not affect production of the vaccine, known locally as Covishield.
I would like to reassure all governments & the public that there would be no loss of #COVISHIELD production due to multiple production buildings that I had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies at @SerumInstIndia. Thank you very much @PuneCityPolice & Fire Department
— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) January 21, 2021
India recently approved the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine for emergency use earlier this month along with another developed in the country. Approval for the AstraZeneca shot in the U.S. appears to be imminent.