Five workers were killed in a massive fire breakout at the Serum Institute of India (SII) on Thursday. The fire occurred in the afternoon around 2 PM at the SII's Gopal Patti plant in Pune and nine were evacuated from the facility, authorities said.
At least 10 fire tenders were present at the facility to bring the fire under control, ANI reported. The state government has ordered an investigation into the cause of the fire.
However, the fire has not affected the production of Covishield vaccine as the manufacturing unit is in another facility called Manjri, a kilometre away from where the fire broke out. Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, confirmed in a tweet that there would be no loss of production of Covishield vaccine as there are multiple buildings that have been kept in reserve to meet such situations. He initially tweeted that no lives had been lost but later informed the death of five contractual workers.
SII is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced and manufactures around 1.5 billion doses of vaccines per year.