5 killed at Serum Institute fire; Rahul Gandhi terms it ‘extremely worrying’


At least five people have died after a fire broke out at a building in the Serum Institute of India’s Manjari complex. Serum Institute of India owner Adar Poonawalla said that the fire would not affect the production of COVID-19 vaccines.

Poonawalla tweeted, “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.”

His subsequent tweet read, “We have just received some distressing updates; upon further investigation we have learnt that there has unfortunately been some loss of life at the incident. We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the departed.”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the news of the fire was ‘distressing.’ He tweeted, “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.”

A news report by PTI said that Manjari facilities is where the Covishield vaccine, currently being rolled out across India as part of the nationwide vaccination drive against the coronavirus pandemic is being made.