Antonio Guterres saddened by life loss in Serum Institute fire
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is saddened by the loss of life in a fire at the Serum Institute of India (SII) facility in Pune and hopes that the incident is fully investigated, his spokesperson said on Thursday. To recall, five men died after a fire broke out in a five-storeyed under-construction building in the Serum Institute of India's Manjari premises in Pune on Thursday.
'We send our condolences to the families impacted'
"We, obviously, are saddened by the loss of life and send our condolences to the families impacted, and we hope the fire is fully investigated," Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said at the daily press briefing. Dujarric was responding to a question on whether the UN chief has a comment on the fire at the SII, which is producing India's COVID-19 vaccines.
Serum Institute is producing India's COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield
The Manjari facility is where the Covishield vaccines used in the nationwide inoculation drive against the pandemic are made. The concerned building where the fire broke out is one kilometer from the Covishield vaccine manufacturing unit. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but reports suggest an electrical fault at the building might have caused it.
Production of Covishield won't be affected, tweets Poonawalla
Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said that the Covishield vaccine production will not be hit due to the fire. "I would like to reassure all governments & the public that there would be no loss of #COVISHIELD production due to multiple production buildings that I had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies at @SerumInstIndia," Poonawalla tweeted on Thursday.
Maharashtra Government has ordered a probe into the fire
Meanwhile, Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol speculated that welding at the under-construction building caused the fire. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said welding sparks caused the fire while inflammable material present at the site aggravated it. However, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the state government has ordered a probe into the fire.