SII Fire Accident or Sabotage to Be Known After Investigation, Says Maharashtra CM

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said that whether the fire at the Serum Institute of India (SII) was an accident or sabotage will be known only after the probe gets over. Five men died in the fire that broke out in a five- storeyed under-construction building in the SII’s Manjari premises in Pune on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference after visiting the site of the fire, Thackeray said, “Let the investigation get completed. It is not correct to say anything now. After the probe gets over, we will know whether it was an accident or sabotage.” Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII said there was no damage to the Covishield vaccine production, but other facilities involved in the production of Rotavirus and BCG vaccines were damaged. “The financial losses (due to the fire) are to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore,” he said.

The Manjari facility is where Covishield, the SII vaccine against COVID-19 which is being used in the nationwide inoculation drive, is manufactured. The building where the fire broke out is one km from the Covishield vaccine manufacturing unit.

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