Three Maharashtra government agencies launch probe in Serum Institute blaze

Heads of fire departments of the Pune Municipal Corporation, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority and MIDC are part of the joint probe team.

Published: 22nd January 2021 05:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2021 11:21 PM   |  A+A-

Fire broke out at Serum Institute of India, in Pune

Fire broke out at Serum Institute of India, in Pune. (File photo| ANI)


PUNE: Police authorities, a forensic team, and officials from the fire wings of three Maharashtra government agencies on Friday launched a probe to ascertain the cause of the blaze at the Serum Institute of India's premises here, which claimed five lives.

Five contractual labourers died in the fire that broke out in a five-story building in the SII's Manjari premises on Thursday.

The fire damaged the top two floors of the building located in 'SEZ 3' area of the premises of the vaccine major.

Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta on Friday said they have started investigating the incident.

"Our investigation started today afternoon. Our crime branch team, a forensic team reached the spot to begin the probe," he said.

According to him, the statements of people who worked there are being recorded.

"Based on the outcome of the probe, further course of action will be decided," Gupta said.

When asked if the forensic team has collected any samples from the spot, he answered in the affirmative.

Meanwhile, top officials from fire wings of three agencies- Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC)- are carrying out a joint probe into the incident.

Prashant Ranpise, PMC's fire department head said there was no sign of any smoke at the spot right now, however, as a precautionary measure, a fire brigade vehicle has been deployed at the building.

Soon after the incident, a case of accidental death was registered at Hadapsar police station, officials said.

The Manjari facility is where Covishield, the SII vaccine against COVID-19, which is being used in the nationwide inoculation drive against the infection, is made.

The building where fire broke out is one km from the Covishield vaccine manufacturing unit.


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