The fire occurred last Thursday (21 January) in the world’s biggest vaccine-production hub in western India. ‘Five people have died,’ Pune city mayor Murlidhar Mohol told reporters following the fire at the Serum Institute of India.
Rescue workers discovered five bodies in the building that was under construction after the blaze was brought under control.
‘We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the departed,’ Adar Poonawalla, the firm’s CEO, tweeted, without offering further details.
At least four people were rescued from the premises in a rescue operation, officials said.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control in around three hours. It is believed to have been started due to an electrical fault. A full investigation will take place.
The Serum Institute is producing millions of doses of the Covishield coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
Serum Institute, the world’s biggest vaccine maker by volume, also plans to supply 200 million doses to Covax, a World Health Organization-backed effort to procure and distribute inoculations to poor countries.
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