The Office of the Chief Inspector of Boilers yesterday dismissed reports that the fire at Tampaco Foils was caused by a boiler explosion.
MA Mannan, chief inspector of boilers, told reporters around 7:00pm that he had sent an inspector to the factory site who found no damage to the two boilers of the packaging factory.
“We have gathered all information through our inspector, but we did not find any sign of a boiler explosion,” said Mannan.
The inspector could not enter the boiler room due to scorching heat, but he only saw the boilers from a nearby building.
“When we can enter the room, we will be able to show you the real situation,” Mannan said.
His version, however, runs counter to that of Lt Col Musharaf Hossain, director (training, development & planning) of Fire Service and Civil Defence.
He told reporters on the scene around 4:00pm that the fire originated from a boiler explosion.
According to Mannan, a boiler explosion normally does not ignite a fire.
“There is no recorded incident of a fire breaking out from a boiler explosion in Bangladesh,” he said, claiming that there was no incident of boiler explosion at Tampaco Foils until 7:15pm yesterday.
The fire broke out at the front building, where the main factory is situated and foils are produced, and there was no boiler in the building, he said. “Boiler and cooling tower generator are in the building behind the main factory.”
The fire spread out to the building that houses the boilers after lunch, he said. “A boiler can resist heat of up to 600 degree Celsius. If the heat remains between 300 and 400 degree Celsius, the main body would not melt. “We can show the body of the boilers to everyone.”
One of the two boilers was overhauled last week and it is yet to resume operation.
“I talked with the operator of the other boiler today [yesterday] who told me that it was shut down at 3:00am [about three hours before the fire incident],” said Mannan.
Another operator was supposed to restart the boiler, which was overhauled in June.
“But the operator could not run it, as fire broke out before he reached the factory,” the chief inspector said, adding that a boiler does not explode when shut.
“I don't know why the fire broke out, and it's not for me to find it out,” he said adding: “The probe bodies will find out the actual reasons behind the fire.”