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5 die in Serum Institute of India fire in Pune; no impact on Covishield

CEO Adar Poonawalla said equipment worth hundreds of crores were damaged in the fire, and the company is expected to face revenue loss of more than Rs 1,000 crore over the next one to two years.

January 21, 2021 / 10:21 PM IST

Five people lost their lives in the fire that broke out at Terminal 1 gate of Serum Institute of India (SII)’s facility in Pune, Maharashtra, on January 21, reported news agency PTI quoting fire officials.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken cognizance of this unfortunate incident and said, "In this sad hour, my thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest".

Also Read: Fire breaks out again at SII building in Pune after 5 died in afternoon blaze

President Ramnath Kovind has as well expressed his grief for the families in mourning. 

Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla also expressed his condolences to the families.


While speaking to CNBC TV-18, he said priority products like Covishield, EPI vaccine will not suffer due to the fire, however, new product launches will be hit.

He said equipment worth hundreds of crores were damaged in the fire, and the company is expected to face revenue loss of more than Rs 1,000 crore over the next one to two years.

"The Contractor's men were working on that floor (where the fire broke out) and when the fire brigade officials went there, they found five completely burnt bodies. 2 of them were from UP, 2 from Pune and 1 is from Bihar", said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

He also added that the place where the COVID vaccine is manufactured was not affected. He was informed that preparation was going on at that building (site of fire) was to make the Rotavirus vaccine.

No Impact on COVISHIELD Vaccine

Earlier, CEO Adaar Poonawalla had confirmed there has been no loss of any Covishield vaccine, despite a few floors being burnt down.

"I'd like to reassure all govts & public that there would be no loss of Covishield production due to multiple production buildings that I'd kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies at Serum Institute of India," said  Poonawalla on Twitter.

Six people rescued, prima facie cause seems to be an electric fault

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray had tweeted saying six people had been rescued and the prima facie cause of the fire seems to be an electric fault.

When the fire broke out, ten fire tenders were immediately were deployed to control the blaze.

Pune Municipal Corporation’s Chief Fire Officer told CNN News18 there were four people inside the building and three had been rescued. Large smoke was hampering the work of bringing the fire under control, the official added.

The fire continued to rage on the fourth and fifth floors of the 'Special Economic Zone 3' building inside the premises, reported news agency ANI.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Namrata Patil told PTI that the fire broke out at 2.45 pm on the fourth and fifth floor of the SEZ 3 building in the Serum Institute premises.
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