Serum Institute's CEO Adar Poonawalla on Friday, January 22, said that the company has suffered a loss of over Rs 1,000 crores due to the fire which broke out on Thursday, January 21, in a new facility and claimed five lives.
Poonawala said that the company was making a new manufacturing line for more vaccines which was affected by the fire.
"Mainly loss is financial, which is over Rs 1,000 crore. Our new production line has been affected, not Covid vaccines. Loss is to bulk area and production filling line. No actual vaccine was being made where the fire took place. Loss is for the future manufacturing," Poonawalla said.
A major fire had broken out on the fourth and fifth floor of an under-construction building in Serum Institute's 100-acre campus in the SEZ area in Pune.
The fire did not affect the production of COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield'. However, the fire claimed the lives of five workers at the site.
"It is a brand new facility and installation of equipment was happening there and perhaps that (ongoing works) is what caused this incident. What we have lost is the future production," Poonawalla said.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray assured the public that there was no loss to the Covishield vaccine.
"Covid vaccine is a ray of hope for the entire world. After hearing about the fire at the Serum facility, we all missed a heartbeat for a fraction of a second. After visiting the institute, I can assure you that vaccine manufacturing unit is not affected. It's unfortunate that five people lost their lives," Thackeray said.
CM Thackeray said that the cause of the fire has not been ascertained yet.