Forensic fire investigation experts and criminologists at Dubai Police’s General Department of Criminal Investigation (CID), have revealed that the cause of a fire that broke out at the Expo 2020 Dubai under-construction site was caused by an unexpected technical problem during welding work.
According to a WAM report, the investigators conducted 12 scientific experiments and re-enacted the incident of fire to determine the cause of the spark and reveal the facts concealed by the worker and engineer of the company operating at the site, who said that there was no welding work in progress at the time. However, the investigations concluded that welding operations had led to a rise in temperature within a tube to more than 360 degrees Celsius, which caused it to ignite.
The report detailed that the worker had stopped what he was doing due to a technical fault, and then re-stored the equipment in its dedicated room, without observing the proper safety requirements. After five minutes, he noticed an evacuation of all workers in progress at the site due to a fire. He immediately left the site and informed the engineer about what had happened during the welding and his negligence of safety measures. The engineer told him to remain quiet and not tell anyone else about the matter as there were no witnesses and no need to involve the company.
Investigators also found messages circulated amongst the other workers instructing them to deny their presence at site on the day of the fire.
When confronted with the facts, the worker and engineer admitted to telling the truth.
Commenting on the investigation, Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, commended the great efforts and accurate and professional methods of the investigators to determine the real factors behind the incident.
Major General Al Marri praised the re-enactment of the fire done with high professionalism and accuracy as another feather in the Dubai Police’s cap.
The investigators harnessed advanced technology and Artificial Intelligence during the investigations to establish the cause of the fire, he said.
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director-General of the Expo 2020 Dubai Office lauded the efforts and professionalism by the Dubai Police criminal investigation teams.
She praised the Dubai Police teams led by Major General Al Marri for their dedication, support and efforts to ensure the safety and security of all and save lives and protect property at the site.
”No doubt, the dedication of the Dubai Police personnel to maintain security and safety at the Expo Dubai site remains a key factor in our success. We realise that the responsibility laid on their shoulders is great. Given Dubai Police’s competencies and capabilities, we are all confident we are in safe hands in our journey to the expo and during the event.”