On Thursday, former President of Congress Rahul Gandhi condoled the death of five people at Pune's Serum Institute of India (SII) and urged the Maharashtra government to provide help to the victims' families.
The Wayanad MP said in a tweet, "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 and their families."
A major fire broke out in the SII unit in Manjari near Hadapsar on Thursday. The reports, thankfully, confirmed that the faculty where COVISHIELD was produced and stored was safe. Sadly five deaths, including that of a woman, were confirmed soon after.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope and Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol announced that five persons had perished in the blaze and their bodies were found during the cooling operations. Tope took to Twitter to offer his condolences to grieving families, and said, “The incident of fire at the Serum Institute in Pune is very sad and painful. A heartfelt tribute to those who died in this incident. Pray that the injured person will recover quickly and return home.”
Another four persons were rescued from the blaze which erupted on two upper floors of the SII building which was being readied for a BCG vaccine plant.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a press conference and allayed the nationwide concerns over the fate of the Covid-19 vaccines that were being manufactured by the company. SII CEO Adar Poonawalla issued a personal statement of reassurance.
(With Inputs from IANS)