At least five charred bodies were recovered after the fire at the Serum Institute of India (SII) was brought under control, Pune Mayor Muralidhar Mohol confirmed on Thursday, ANI reported.  

“Four people were evacuated from the building but when it came under control, five bodies were found by our jawans,” Mohol was quoted as saying by ANI. 

He further stated that the five people who died, were perhaps workers at the under-construction building.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, Mohol said, adding that that welding, that was going on at the building, could have caused the fire. 

Also Read | Fire breaks out at Serum Institute in Pune, Covishied production won’t be hit

Taking to Twitter, SII CEO and owner Adar Poonawalla also confirmed the loss of life. 

He tweeted, “We have just received some distressing updates; upon further investigation we have learnt that there has unfortunately been some loss of life at the incident. We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the departed.”

The fire broke at terminal 1 gate of the institute. According to the reports, 10 fire tenders are present at the institute. The site where the fire broke out is an under-construction building and the vaccine and vaccine manufacturing plant are safe, reported ANI.

Serum Institute is an Indian biotechnology and pharmaceuticals company and world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.

It is also the manufacturer of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, one of the first COVID-19 vaccines to get restricted emergency approval in the country.

Many other countries are relying on the Serum Institute to supply them with the vaccine.