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Police probe reveals welder's negligence caused fire at Dubai Expo site

Filed on June 20, 2020 | Last updated on June 20, 2020 at 06.15 am
dubai expo 2020, dubai fire


An engineer on duty had told him to keep quiet as there were no witnesses.

A recent fire incident at the Expo 2020 Dubai construction site was caused by an unexpected technical problem during some welding work, a forensic investigation has revealed.

Forensic fire investigation experts and criminologists at the Dubai Police's General Department of Criminal Investigation (CID) 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 to evade responsibility.

The finding refuted the version of the worker and engineer who said there was no welding work in progress at that time. The investigators also concluded that the welding operations led to a rise in the temperature of the tube to more than 350 degrees Celsius, which caused it to ignite.

Engineer told worker not to tell anyone

The worker stopped what he was doing when he faced a technical fault. He then restored the equipment in the dedicated room without observing the safety requirements. After five minutes, he noticed an evacuation of all workers in progress from 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 keep quiet and to not tell anyone else as there were no witnesses there was no need to involve the company.

The investigators also found messages circulated among workers telling them to deny their presence at the site on the day of the fire.

When confronted with the facts, the worker and engineer admitted to concealing the truth.

AI helped in 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.

The investigators harnessed advanced technology and artificial intelligence during the investigation 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 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 the 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."

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