Pune (Maharashtra) [India], January 21 (ANI): Serum Institute of India (SII) on Thursday announced a compensation of Rs 25 lakhs to the families of the people who died in a fire incident at the company's facility at Manjari, 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," said Cyrus S. Poonawalla, Chairman and Managing Director, SII.
"We are deeply saddened and offer our condolences to the families of the departed. In this regard, we will be offering compensation of Rs 25 lakhs to each of the families, in addition to the mandated amount as per the norms," SII tweeted.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday expressed grief over the demise of five people who lost their lives in the fire incident.
"The loss of lives in a fire accident at the Serum Institute of India in Pune is distressing. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. I wish speedy recovery of the injured," Kovind tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the deaths caused by the fire incident. "Anguished by the loss of lives due to an unfortunate fire at Serum Institute of India. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest," PM Modi tweeted.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also expressed grief over the fire incident. "While it's distressing to learn of the tragic loss of lives in the fire incident at Serum Institute, the news of another fire is extremely worrying. My condolences to the family of the deceased. I request the state govt to provide necessary help to the victims & their families," he tweeted.
This comes after a fire had broken out at SII's Manjari Plant earlier today, in which five people died and six were rescued from an under-construction building. Later today, another fire broke out again in one of the compartments of the building at SII, in Pune.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the initial fire was caused by some ongoing welding work at the site.
The fire broke out at about 2:45 pm at an under-construction building where vaccine production was supposed to start after a month. The fire broke out at 4th and 5th floor of the SEZ3 building. BCG vaccine laboratory was there at 3rd floor of the same building but that is unaffected. The COVISHIELD plant is almost about 1km distance from fire incident site.
It may be noted that the country's apex drugs regulator had granted restricted emergency use permission to SII's Covishield vaccine in India.
Millions of vaccine doses are being manufactured by Serum Institute under technical collaboration with Oxford University/Astra Zeneca. It is pertinent to note that COVISHIELD (SII-ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) vaccine contains the replication-deficient simian adenovirus vector ChAdOx1, containing the structural surface glycoprotein (Spike protein) antigens of SARS-CoV-2. (ANI)