A major fire broke out in an under-construction building of the Serum Institute of India (SII)’s Manjari plant here on Thursday afternoon, officials said. There are no immediate reports of casualties.
Around 2 p.m., thick clouds of smoke could be seen billowing out of the structure in the SII complex at Manjari, said company sources.
At least 12 fire-tenders from Pune Fire Brigade rushed to the site and were battling the blaze, the cause of which is not clear.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Namrata Patil told PTI the fire broke out at 2.45 pm on the fourth and fifth floor of the SEZ 3 building in the Serum Institute premises. “As per the primary information, three people have been evacuated,” she said.
The company’s CEO Adar Poonawalla said “the most important thing is that there have been no lives lost or major injuries due to the fire, despite a few floors being destroyed.”
But as per the recent update, 5 bodies have been recovered by the Fire Fighters.
Manjari, the complex where the fire broke out, is a few minutes’ drive from the facility where the Covid vaccines are produced, sources said. It is believed to be part of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
About eight or nine buildings are being constructed at the Manjari complex to deal with future pandemics and these are aimed at enhancing the SII’s manufacturing capability.