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AFP
January 22, 2021

Five dead in India vaccine plant fire

World

AFP
January 22, 2021

MUMBAI: Five people died as a fire tore through a building in the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturing hub in India Thursday, but the company insisted that the production of drugs to counter the coronavirus pandemic would continue.

Rescue workers discovered five bodies in the under-construction building after the blaze at the Serum Institute of India was brought under control, media reports said, with officials in the western city of Pune confirming the toll.

"Five people have died," city mayor Murlidhar Mohol told reporters.

TV channels showed thick clouds of grey smoke billowing from the sprawling site in Pune, which is responsible for producing millions of doses of the Covishield coronavirus vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

"It is not going to affect production of the Covid-19 vaccine," a Serum Institute source told AFP, adding that the blaze was at a new facility being built on the 100-acre (40-hectare) campus.