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Five dead in a fire in the vaccine unit of the Serum Institute of India | India News


PUNE: Five people were killed in a large fire that broke out at the Serum Institute of India (SII) vaccine manufacturing plant in Manjari near Hadapsar in the city around 2:40 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta told TOI: “Five completely charred bodies were found at the site and we are investigating the matter.”
Adar Poonawalla, owner and CEO of SII, said: “The institute’s Covid vaccine manufacturing plant is safe and out of reach of fire. It is the rotavirus vaccine manufacturing plant that caught fire.”
Rotaviruses are the most common cause of diarrheal illness among infants and young children.
The fire engulfed the third to sixth floors of the building. There were conflicting accounts of the fire from the third or sixth floor and authorities were verifying these details apart from the cause of the fire.
Late on Thursday night, Senior Deputy Minister Ajit Pawar, who is also the Pune District Watch Minister, said: “The Pune Police Commissioner has been asked to conduct a thorough investigation into the fire incident.” .
Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray also received an update on the Poonawalla incident and will visit the plant affected by the fire on Friday, according to a statement issued by his office.
Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol told reporters at the scene: “The charred bodies were found on the sixth and top floor of the facility during a search operation after fire brigade personnel put out the fire ( after more than two hours of fighting) “.
A contractor hired for civil works at the facility had informed authorities during the firefighting effort that some of his men were missing.
Vivek Pradhan, the factory manager, told reporters at the scene: “The fire broke out in the rotavirus laboratory located on the third floor where a stock of BCG vaccine was stored. Some electrical and installation work was underway. of pipes and at least four workers hired by a civil contractor were trapped on the terrace and rescued safely by fire personnel. ”
Crowds of local residents and bystanders gathered around the facility as plumes of thick smoke were seen rising from the fire that ravaged the third and upper floors of the building.
The Hadapsar Fire Station of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) rolled out seven firefighting tenders and two tanker trucks, in addition, the Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority also lobbied five other firefighting tenders as an elaborate effort was being made to control the fire. .
Prashant Ranpise, the PMC fire chief, told TOI: “Most of the BCG vaccine was kept in an airtight glass cabin on the third floor and our firefighters found it difficult to control the fire.”
Pune District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh received an update on the fire incident from Serum Institute Executive Director Suresh Jadhav.

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