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5 killed in fire at Serum Institute

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on January 21, 2021

The company has offered ₹25 lakhs to each of the families

At least five people suspected to be construction workers were killed in a fire that broke out at Serum Institute of India (SII) on Thursday. 

Speaking to reporters State Health Minister Rajesh Tope and Pune Mayor Muralidhar Mohal confirmed the deaths. “After the fire was completely doused after 2-3 hours, five dead bodies were found in the building that caught fire. The district collector has informed me,” said Tope.

Mayor Muralidhar Mohal said, “It is suspected that the people who died were construction workers. The municipal corporation is in the process to take out bodies.”

Adar PoonawallaChief Executive Officer (CEO) 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.”

Meanwhile according to sources pipe moulding and welding work was being done in the SII building and short-circuit might because of the fire. However, there is no confirmation on the reason for the fire break.

Compensation

Cyrus S. Poonawalla, Chairman and Managing Director, Serum Institute of India in a statement announced a compensation of ₹25 lakh to family members of those who died in a fire that broke out at the institute building in Pune.

"Today is an extremely sorrowful day for all of us at Serum Institute of India. Regrettably, there were losses of lives in the fire that broke out in our under installation facility situated at the Special Economic Zone at Manjri" he said.

Poonawalla added, "We are deeply saddened and offer our condolences to the families of the departed. In this regard, we will be offering compensation of ₹25 lakhs to each of the families, in addition to the mandated amount as per the norms. We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone for their concerns and prayers in these distressing times."

Covishield production

Adar PoonawallaChief Executive Officer (CEO) of Serum Institute of India (SII) in his reaction via tweet said, “I would like to reassure all governments & the public that there would be no loss of #COVISHIELD production due to multiple production buildings that I had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies at @SerumInstIndia. Thank you very much @PuneCityPolice  & Fire Department”

Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta addressing the media said that the police carry out investigation of fire “ from all angles.”

He said that the police and fire brigade reached the spot after fire broke at SII under construction building at around 2.45 pm.

Gupta added that the building was at production stage (under construction) and no vaccine production was being carried out here. SII was to start work in the new building after a month.

According to Serum sources the building at Manjari expansion that caught fire comes under SEZ and there was no stock in the building to prepare any kind of vaccine.  

Published on January 21, 2021

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