Technical problem during welding ops caused fire at Expo 2020 site

Forensic fire investigation experts & criminologists at Dubai Police's General Department of Criminal Investigation probed the incident

A fire broke out at the Expo 2020 Dubai site on 11 May, 2020.
Expo 2020 Dubai
A fire broke out at the Expo 2020 Dubai site on 11 May, 2020.

The forensic fire investigation experts and criminologists at Dubai Police's General Department of Criminal Investigation (CID) have revealed that technical problems during welding operations caused a fire that broke out at the Expo 2020 Dubai under-construction site on 11 May.

Emirates News Agency reported that the investigators conducted 12 scientific experiments and re-enacted the incident to determine the cause of the fire.

The team that probed the incident also revealed the facts covered up by the worker and engineer of the company operating at the site. Both the worker and engineer had claimed that welding work was not being carried out at that time.

Following the investigation, the team at Dubai Police concluded that the welding operations triggered the temperature of the tube to rise to more than 350 degree Celsius, which caused it to ignite.

The time of events showed that the worker stopped what he was doing when he faced a technical fault and re-stored the equipment in the dedicated room without following the safety requirements. In minutes he noticed that the workers were being evacuated  from the site due to a fire.

He then left the site and informed the engineer about what had happened during the welding operations as well as his negligence of safety measures. Upon which the engineer asked him to keep it under wraps and not to inform the company, as there were no witnesses of the incident.

The investigation team at Dubai Police also found out that messages were being circulated among workers asking them to deny their presence at the site on the day of the fire.

However, upon being confronted with the facts, both the worker and engineer admitted to concealing the truth.

Commenting on the investigation, Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said that the investigators used advanced technology and Artificial Intelligence during the investigations to establish the cause of the fire

Meanwhile, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director-General of the Expo 2020 Dubai Office, lauded the efforts of the Dubai Police criminal investigation teams.

She said: ''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.''

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