Five people were killed as a massive fire fire broke out at an under-construction building at the Serum Institute of India’s Manjari premises in Pune. Pune’s Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said the five whose charred bodies were found were perhaps construction workers. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but it is being speculated that welding work caused the fire, he 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,” Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted.
Manjari, the complex where the fire broke out, is a few minutes’ drive from the facility where the Covid vaccines are produced. It is believed to be part of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
About eight or nine buildings are being constructed at the Manjari complex to deal with future pandemics and these are aimed at enhancing the SII’s manufacturing capability.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office tweeted he was in touch with the Pune Municipal Commissioner for “complete on-ground updates”. Mr Thackeray had directed the state machinery to coordinate and ensure that the situation is under control, the statement read. A team of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) is also at the site.