Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday visited Serum Institute of India's premises in Pune's Manjari after five contractual labourers died in a major fire which broke out in the vaccine hub's five-storeyed under-construction building on Thursday.
Uddhav inspected the site that caught fire. He also spoke to SII CEO Adar Poonawalla and took stock of the situation and extent of the damages caused. He said the production of COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' has not been impacted due to the incident. He added that the fire incident was due to an accident or a deliberate one will be known after the ongoing probe by the three government agencies -- Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
Uddhav said the vaccine manufacturing company has taken responsibility of those who died in fire by offering compensation of Rs 25 lakh to each family. However, the government will also try to help the families of the deceased, he added.
During the visit, Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, Member of Parliament Girish Bapat and Deputy Chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council Neelam Gorhe were also present.
Besides, police have registered an accidental death and burning incident case with the Hadapsar police station, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 5) Namrata Patil.
Meanwhile, SII has said the fire will impact the production of BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) and Rota vaccines in future. In a statement to ANI, SII officials mentioned that they have "suffered financial losses due to the fire that broke in an under-installation building of SII plant at Manjari, Pune and this will impact the production of BCG and Rota vaccines in the future".