It took around three hours for firemen to bring the blaze under control. The cause of the fire is still not known, according to a fire officer.
A fire broke out once again at the Serum Institute of India hours after a massive blaze left five people dead on Thursday at the vaccine-maker’s Pune facility, at a building that is under construction. It is unlikely to hit the production of Covishield, the coronavirus vaccine developed by the SII in partnership with the Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca.
A few more trapped in the building were rescued.
“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,” Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted.
It took around three hours for firemen to bring the blaze under control. The fire is believed to have started because of an electrical fault. (See Pictures)
Mr Poonawalla had earlier told NDTV: “We are trying to rescue one or two people, that’s our only priority now. We will assess the situation later on the damage on all other counts.”
The five who died were contractual labourers, and Serum Institute has announced a compensation of ₹ 25 lakh each to their families.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to say he was anguished by the loss of lives.
The Serum Institute of India, 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 Covid vaccines are produced. It is believed to be part of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).