'Anguished': PM Modi tweets after fire kills 5 at Pune's Serum Institute
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed anguish over the fire incident at Pune's Serum Institute of India which took away the lives of four who were trapped inside the building when the massive fire started. "In this sad hour, my thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. I pray that those injured recover at the earliest," PM Modi wrote
At least five people were killed in the fire that broke out at an under-construction building at Serum Institute's Pune campus on Thursday. All of them were construction workers. The fire, as is being speculated, started from welding works that were going on at the building. Inflammable materials were stored in the building which aggravated the fire.
As Serum Institute of India, the largest vaccine maker of the world by the volume it produces annually, is supplying Covishield vaccine to India and other countries, the incident led to concerns whether vaccine storage or vaccine work have got affected by the incident.
CEO Adar Poonawalla has confirmed that there has been no loss in vaccine manufacturing. The unit where Covishield is being manufactured is about one kilometre away from the under-construction building. Vaccine production was supposed to begin at this site from next month.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will visit the facility tomorrow to review the situation. The government has already ordered an investigation into the incident. “People in the country and abroad have expressed concerns over the incident. I would like to clarify that I have been told that the plant where Covid-19 vaccine is being manufactured is safe. At present, our focus is to douse the fire and minimize the damage caused,” deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said.
In the evening, another fire broke out in one of the compartments of the building at Serum Institute of India, news agency ANI reported. The earlier fire in which five people lost their lives broke out at around 2.45pm.
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