Five people have lost their lives in a conflagration on Thursday afternoon in an under construction part of the world’s largest vaccine product company Serum Institute in Pune, Maharashtra. None of the dead are serum’s employees. PM Narendra Modi has expressed grief over this incident. However, this fire incident did not affect the COVISHIELD vaccine.
A six-story under-construction building on the campus spread over several acres of the Serum Institute, set on fire at the sixth floor around 2.30 pm yesterday. It is being told that where there was a fire, there were already some flammable materials in which the fire started from the short circuit. According to the state Health Minister Rajesh Tope, soon after the incident, five fire engines and three water tankers reached spot and started extinguishing the fire.
The Serum Institute also had its own fire team extinguishing the fire. Despite this, the fire took almost three hours to get under control. The bodies of five dead persons were recovered from the blazed area before the fire broke out again and nine people have been safely evacuated.
President and PM expressed condolence
President Ram Nath Kovind said, “the fatalities in the fire accident at Pune’s Serum Institute of India were unfortunate. My condolences and prayers are with the bereaved families. I wish the injured a speedy recovery.”
Anguished by the loss of lives due to an unfortunate fire at the @SerumInstIndia. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. I pray that those injured recover at the earliest.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 21, 2021
PM Narendra Modi said, “I am deeply saddened by the deaths due to the fire at the Serum Institute of India. My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this hour of grief. I pray that the injured are healed as soon as possible.”
SII is the largest producer of vaccines
The Serum Institute, along with Oxford University and pharma company AstraZeneca, is producing the COVISHIELD vaccine. Inoculation of this vaccine has already started in India. The vaccine is being sent to many other countries as well. In addition to vaccine production for Corona, the institute produces BCG, POLIOMYELITIS, POLIOVAC and other vaccines for children. 1.3 billion vaccines and immunological drugs are manufactured here every year.
This institute was founded in 1966 by Cyrus Poonawala. Now his son Adar Poonawala is the CEO of this company. The company has become the world’s largest vaccine producer by dosage.