Central agencies investigating cause, vandalism suspected.
Pune – 5 persons died due to a fire in the Serum Institute of India plant. The fire broke out when the welding work was going on, as per Rajesh Tope. Maharashtra Health Minister. Central agencies, suspecting vandalism, have started an investigation. The fire has been controlled. The third and fourth floors of the building were on fire. As soon as the fire was reported, 10 fire tenders arrived at the spot. Smoke had spread due to the fire.
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Mr. Tope further said that there was a fire in Serum Institute’s BCG vaccine building around 2 pm. This is a new plant in the Manjri area of Pune. The fire started due to the welding work and the fire spread immediately due to the insulation material kept there. The fire has been extinguished now. It took 2 to 3 hours to get the fire under control. The building where the corona vaccine is being made is far from the accident site. Due to this the vaccine is safe. Police are also investigating the case.
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Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had informed all the departments to help out in extinguishing the fire. Earlier SII CEO Adar Poonawala tweeted that there was no loss of life due to the fire, but 5 persons were found dead after the fire was extinguished.
Fire at Serum Institute: CEO Adar Poonawalla assures no loss of Covishield productionhttps://t.co/CQ40R0HDnQ
— Republic (@republic) January 21, 2021
The SII has announced an ex gratia compensation of Rs.25 lakh to the families of each of the deceased.
Meanwhile a smaller fire broke out in the SII premises at about 7pm but was quickly brought under control.