Fire breaks out again after 5 killed in fire at Serum Institute; Covishield facility not affected
Pune, Jan 21: At least five people have died and nine were evacuated from a building in the Serum Institute of India's Manjari premises here after a fire broke out at the facility on Thursday, police said.
As many as 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot when the fire broke out.
Speaking to media, Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said, "Five workers have lost their lives in the fire that broke at the Serum Institute of India today. The five people who died, were perhaps the workers at the under-construction building. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but it is being speculated that welding, that was going on at the building, caused the fire."
''Four people were evacuated from the building but when it came under control, five bodies were found by our jawans,'' he further said.
Covishield vaccine production won''t be hit due to the fire, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said.
The Manjari facility is where the Covishield vaccine used in the nationwide inoculation drive against the pandemic is made. The building where the fire broke out is part of the under-construction site of the Serum facility and is one km from the Covishield manufacturing unit, sources said.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the state government has ordered a probe into the fire.
The fire, which broke out at 2.45 pm on the fourth and fifth floors of the SEZ 3 building in the Serum Institute premises, was brought under control in two hours, police said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Namrata Patil told PTI that nine people were evacuated from the spot after the fire broke out.
Viral visuals from the site showed smoke billowing out from the Serum Institute facility.
A fire brigade official said cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was rushed to the spot, an official said.
Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said all the people trapped inside the building where the fire broke out have been evacuated.
Chief Fire Officer Prashant Ranpise said cooling work has commenced at the spot. Nobody was injured in the fire, he added.
Fifteen water tankers were pressed into action and the fire was brought under control around 4.30 pm, he said.
"The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Furniture, wiring, cabins were gutted. No major machinery or instruments were stored on the floors where the fire broke out," he said.
"I have taken information from the Pune Municipal Corporation about the incident and an instruction has been given to carry out a detailed probe into the incident," Ajit Pawar said.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked the state machinery to ensure that the fire is brought under control, his office tweeted. He is in touch with the Pune Municipal Commissioner, the CMO added.