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Serum Institute fire: Co to offer Rs 25 lakh compensation to families of dead

NEW DELHI: Cyrus S Poonawalla, chairman and MD of Serum Institute of India, on Thursday said the vaccine major will offer a compensation of Rs 25 lakh in addition to the mandated amount to families of persons who died in a fire at the company's premises in Pune.

Five men died after a fire broke out in a five-storeyed under-construction building at the firm''s Manjari premises in Pune on Thursday.

All were construction workers whose bodies were recovered by fire brigade personnel from the fifth floor, police said, adding nine others were evacuated from the spot.

"Today is an extremely sorrowful day for all of us at Serum Institute of India. Regrettably, there were losses of lives in the fire that broke out in our under installation facility situated at the Special Economic Zone at Manjari," Poonawalla said in a statement.

"We are deeply saddened and offer our condolences to the families of the departed. In this regard, we will be offering a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to each of the families, in addition to the mandated amount as per the norms," he added.

"We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone for their concerns and prayers in these distressing times," Poonawalla said.

Earlier in a tweet, his son and company's CEO Adar Poonawalla said, "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."

Adar further said there would be no loss of Covishield production due to multiple production buildings that were kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies.

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