Fire At Serum Institute Of India; Covishield Vaccine Stock Is Safe But Lives Were Lost, Says Adar Poonawalla

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On Thursday, a fire broke out at the Serum Institute of India (SII) at the Manjri area of Pune. Fire tenders are reportedly at Terminal 1 gate of the facility. The site of the fire that broke around 2.45 PM is a part of a building that was under construction. A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) also arrived to douse the flames. The SII is where the Covishield vaccine, one of the two COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in India is being developed in partnership with Oxford University and AstraZeneca. But the vaccine’s stock hasn’t been hit by the fire.

As per reports on NDTV, several fire engines were deployed and rescue efforts were carried out for around five personnel who were trapped in the fire. SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said, “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,”


He also assured the government and the public that “there would be no loss of Covishield production”

While he earlier mentioned that no lives were lost in the incident, Poonawalla later revealed after further investigation that some people died in the tragic incident.


SEE ALSO: COVID-19 Vaccine: 580 Adverse Events, 7 Hospitalized And 2 Deaths But No Link With Jabs, Says Govt

The Manjri complex where the fire broke out is only a few minutes away from the building where the COVID-19 vaccines are being produced. As images of the smoke engulfed building did the rounds of the internet, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray’s office posted an update saying the situation is under control. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

SEE ALSO: After Adverse Reactions To Coronavirus Vaccine, Bharat Biotech Releases Factsheet On Who Should Take It

Cover image: Tehseen Poonawalla/Twitter



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