5 dead in fire at India's Serum Institute

International Desk
21 January 2021, Thu
Published: 09:14

5 dead in fire at India's Serum Institute

A fire broke out once again at the Serum Institute of India hours after a massive blaze left five people dead on Thursday at the vaccine maker's Pune facility, at a building that is under construction. 

It is unlikely to hit the production of Covishield, the coronavirus vaccine developed by the SII in partnership with the Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca. 

A few more trapped in the building were rescued.

Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted, "We have just received some distressing updates; upon further investigation we have learnt that there has unfortunately been some loss of life at the incident. We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the departed."

It took around three hours for firemen to bring the blaze under control. The fire is believed to have started because of an electrical fault. 

Mr Poonawalla had earlier told NDTV: "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."

The five who died were contractual labourers, and Serum Institute has announced a compensation of ₹ 25 lakh each to their families. According to NDTV reports.

He was anguished by the loss of lives, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tweet.