Five dead in fire at Pune’s Serum Institute, six rescued
The fire brigade rescued six people from the fire.
Pune: Five people have reportedly lost lives in the fire that broke out at the under-construction building of Serum Institute of India in Pune, earlier today. The cause of this major fire incident is still unknown. The fire that began this afternoon was brought under control by the Pune Fire Brigade at around 4 pm.
“Five charred bodies have been recovered from the building after the fire was completely doused. As per primary information, four of the victims might be men, and one woman. However, we have sent the bodies for autopsy. The fire brigade rescued six people from the fire,” said a fire officer at Pune Fire Brigade.
Adar Poonawala, CEO, Serum Institute of India tweeted expressing distress over the loss of life at the incident.
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.— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) January 21, 2021
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray conducted a press conference in this regard, wherein he said that once the situation was under control, the government will assess the incident further. Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar will be visiting the site at 7:30 pm today. "I have taken information about the incident from the Pune Commissioner, and have ordered an in-depth investigation of the incident. I have been told that the Covishield is unharmed. Presently, we have prioritised the work of bringing the situation under control," Pawar said in his statement.
SII is manufacturing Covishield, a vaccine against Coronavirus disease, by Oxford-AstraZeneca. However, Poonawala has confirmed that there would be no loss of Covishielf production due to the incident.
As per the information provided by the fire department, the five people who lost their lives were, Rama Shankar Harijan, Bipin Saroj, Sushil kumar Pandey, Mahendra Ingle and Pratik Pashte. They were all contractual labourers doing electrical works.
The story was updated to add more details.