By Online Desk
A fire broke out at an under-construction unit of the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune on Thursday afternoon.
At least 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. Thick clouds of smoke could be seen billowing out of one of the buildings in the SII complex.
Dr Rajendra Shingne, Food and Drugs Administration minister, told The New Indian Express that the fire will not affect the production of Covid-19 vaccines at SII.
The fire, the minister confirmed, had broken out at a different building where BCG vaccines were being produced.
The Maharashtra Chief Minister’s office also issued a statement confirming this.
It read ‘the vaccines and the vaccine manufacturing plant are safe at Serum Institute of India. CM Uddhav Thackeray is in touch with Pune Municipal Commissioner and is taking complete on-ground updates. He has directed state machinery to coordinate and ensure that situation is under control.’
Deputy Commissioner of Police Namrata Patil told PTI the fire broke out at 2.45 pm on the fourth and fifth floor of the SEZ 3 building in the Serum Institute premises.
Ranpise said, “We are yet to confirm the cause of the fire” adding that “efforts are on douse the fire.”
CEO Adar Poonawalla on Twitter 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”.
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.
— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) January 21, 2021
The SII is one of the world’s largest vaccine makers and is producing Oxford University-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’.
(With Express News Service inputs)