Fatal gas explosion at Kuching mall due to unintentional negligence

Khirudin Drahman

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Jan 23: The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) today said that the gas explosion at CityOne mall last month was due to unintentional negligence.

Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman said the Dec 4 incident which happened at a new restaurant which was due to open the next day, was due to incompetency of the installer, whereby “short cut” was made on the installation of the fuel gas piping system.

The blast killed three and injured 41 people.

“The leak had caused the gas to escape and accumulate in the shop. The Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) was good enough to cause an explosion,” he said when contacted by DayakDaily for further clarification.

Earlier today at the department’s annual parade at its headquarters here, Khirudin said Bomba had completed its investigation papers on the incident.

“There are several elements involved with regards to the installation of pipeline and existing regulations, which we will refer to the Ministry of Utilities for further action.

“Under the Gas Supply 1997 regulation, a company must obtained the Approval to Install (ATI) and Approval to Operate (ATO) under MS830 and MS930 before they conduct any installation or extension of piped gas,” he said.

The MS830 is the Malaysian code of practice for storing, handling and transporting liquefied petroleum gas.

The MS930 is the code of practice for installing fuel gas piping systems and appliances.

“We have also written to the local councils in the state to carry out through checks and maintenance on existing gas installations to prevent a similar incident from happening,” he said.

Khiruddin also stressed on the importance of avoiding ‘short cut’ to save cost.

“Never compromise on safety. When you do that, tragedy is bound to happen.”

Asked if the case will be brought to court, he said most of the victims have filed for claims via their respective lawyers, so it will most likely go to court.

On who was at fault for the explosion, Khirudin said this is for the court to decide. — DayakDaily