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MIDC fire officials give clean chit to Serum, CM says lets wait for final report

PUNE The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) fire officials visited the Manjri site where the fire broke out on Thursday and upon inspection have given a clean chit to the Serum Institute of India (SII)
By Steffy Thevar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 10:52 PM IST

PUNE The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) fire officials visited the Manjri site where the fire broke out on Thursday and upon inspection have given a clean chit to the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The fire officials visited the site on Friday along with the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who during a press conference said it would be irresponsible to give any statement about the cause of fire before the final report is out.

“It would not be right to make any statements until the investigation is over and the final report comes out. The incident is under investigation and it will take its due course of time. The investigation is on and once the report comes out it will be clear whether it was an ambush or an accident.”

On Thursday afternoon at around 2: 37 pm, a major fire broke inside an under-construction building in SII’s Manjri facility located in the outskirts of the city where five people were reported dead.

Currently, multiple agencies including Pune police, MIDC fire officials, forensics and factory department are investigating the fire incident.

As the building comes under the Special Economic Zone (SEZ), MIDC is the planning authority.

MV Ogale, deputy chief fire officer, MIDC fire brigade, who was at the spot said that the fire compliance system at the building was in place and fully operational. He said, “After our preliminary investigation at the site we found that the welding had not yet started during the time of the incident as is being reported and so the exact cause of the fire is not yet known.”

“The building has got the completion certificate and the fire compliance was in place and in good operational condition. This was the reason why the fire could be controlled in two hours. The reason why the fire grew so much is that the building is an enclosed structure as it is a pharmaceutical building and smoke, which is basically hot gases, remained trapped inside, got accumulated and spread within the building. All the things that came in contact with the smoke got ignited,” he said.

Ogale said, “There was no inflammable stuff at the accident site. The building was not operational and production was not underway at the site.”

“We found the bodies of the five people near the staircase so they were trying to escape now we need to find out why they could not escape. The bodies were not charred, but got blackened due to the heavy dense black smoke and the smoke particles settled on their body. The cause of death is due to the fumes due to which they collapsed and got some burn injuries.”

“The investigation is still underway as many agencies are involved,” he added.

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