FIVE people have been killed after a huge fire broke out at the site of the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer in India.
Smoke was seen billowing from Serum Institute in India in the western city of Pune today.
The country exported its first batch of Covishield vaccines on Wednesday
The country exported its first batch of Covishield vaccines on WednesdayCredit: AP:Associated Press
Staff were evacuated from the building in the western city of Pune today.
Staff were evacuated from the building in the western city of Pune today.Credit: AP:Associated Press
The site is producing millions of doses of the Covishield Covid vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
Local reports have said the fire was sparked at a construction site at the institute.
A source at the institute has confirmed that the production of the Coronavirus jabs will not be affected, but the company has declined to comment.
It comes as:
The institute has been manufacturing a vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca for the country.
The month Indian regulators approved two vaccines – Covishield, which is produced by the institute and Covaxin, which is made by Bharat Biotech, based in Hyderabad.
The company is also preparing to produce U.S vaccine Novavax Inc.
Staff were seen standing outside the building after they were evacuated.
Five fire engines rushed to the scene.
There has been no casualties announced and no information on how the fire started.
The country had sent 2million doses to Bangladesh and one million to Nepal, as well as having plans to offer 20million doss to neighbouring countries in South Asia.
In the UK, firefighters are battling to save a factory producing the Oxford Covid vaccine in North Wales from flooding caused by Storm Christoph.
Emergency services raced to Wrexham Industrial Estate last night to protect the jab – as 2,000 homes across England were evacuated following torrential rainfall overnight.
The plant has been tasked with making 300 million doses of the vaccine per year but it lies close to the River Dee, which was last night at its highest level ever recorded.
Pharmaceutical firm Wockhardt UK, which runs laboratories and factories on the estate, said it had experienced “mild flooding, resulting in excess water surrounding part of the buildings across site”.