Faulty device the culprit

‘Picketters’ demanding for pay rise ‘clashed’ with Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) in the full-scale act of aggression exercise at Kuching International Airport yesterday. • Story on Page 6 new sarawak tribune newspaper.

KUCHING: A leaking pressure reducer could have contributed to the cause of the blast that rocked CityOne Megamall last Tuesday.

Fire and Rescue Department state assistant director (operations) Tiong Ling Hii (pic) said in an interview that initial investigations into the explosion that killed three persons and wounded 41 revealed that the propane gas pipe could have been leaking for a couple of months prior to the incident.

“The reducer situated at the connection inlet is alright but not the outlet. There is no way anyone could have known of the leakage as propane gas has no smell and is colourless,” he said.

“Even the management did not know although they were puzzled about the high volume of gas used, which was more than what it should be. This is quite similar to the explosion in Putrajaya and Malacca before.”

As to what actually sparked the explosion, Tiong said he could not say yet as the victims were still traumatised and it was not a good time to talk to them.

“We are still in the midst of the investigation so I cannot speculate. There are several angles that we have to look into to find the real cause of the explosion. But I can confirm that the leaking reducer was found at the outlet that exploded,” he said.

Tiong explained that the gas was stored in the mall basement, thus the need for a piping system to supply it to the shops above.

He said a team from Putrajaya was also coming to assist in the investigation. At the moment, CityOne is locked down under Bomba’s directive.

On why the sprinkler did not work after the explosion, Tiong explained that there was no fire. It took 60 degrees Celcius to activate the sprinkler and in this case it was an explosion without a fire.

He urged the public not to speculate and let the relevant agencies conduct investigations.