Fire people died Thursday when fire broke out at a major vaccine manufacturing plant in India where millions of doses of COVID-19 preparation are being produced, local media report.
Huge clouds of grey smoke rose from the top three floors of a six-story construction site at the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker. Located in Pune in the western state of Maharashtra, the plant manufactures the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and will soon begin production on the new U.S. developed Novavax vaccine.
The fire is not expected to hamper vaccine manufacturing conducted in another building at the site. No information on casualties or cause of the fire was immediately available.
India has registered more than 10.5 million COVID cases, the second highest infection rate of any country worldwide. With the vaccine manufactured in Pune, the government hoped to immunize 300 million people by August.
Fire officials report that at least 15 tenders were pressed into service for the initial response. The heavy smoke hindered the early fire response.