The Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) formed the 10-member committee, led by a BCIC director (technical and engineering), on August 23 and asked it to submit its findings within three days.
But probe officials are now saying that they need a couple of more days to hand in their report.
The probe body was asked to ascertain the accident’s reason and extent of damage, assess whether there was any risk from the three reserve tanks of the fertiliser company, and to place recommendations for averting future incidents.
On Monday night, at least 52 people fell ill after toxic ammonia gas was leaked from DAP Fertiliser Company Ltd located at Rangadia area in Anwara upazila. BCIC authorities claimed that the reserve tank contained 250 tonnes of ammonia at the time of the accident.
Abu Taher Bhuiyan, member secretary of the probe committee, said the investigation was still going on, and added that it was more important to tender an impartial and complete report than a hurried one.
“We are only supposed to investigate and then submit the report. The BCIC authorities will decide about making the report public,” said Bhuiyan, who is also the managing director of Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Factory Ltd (CUFL).
SK Shafi Ahmed, former chief operations officer of Kafco, said they were talking to all officials and employees concerned at the fertiliser factory to pinpoint the reason.
“This is highly a technical issue. However, we are hopeful of concluding the investigation within the stipulated time,” Shafi said.
Despite repeated attempts, BCIC Chairman Mohammad Iqbal could not be reached on his phone.
Prof Dr MAA Shoukat Choudhury, who teaches chemical engineering at Buet, confirmed the Dhaka Tribune that the investigation report was not submitted yesterday, but said it might be handed in on Sunday.
It may be mentioned that the BCIC authorities formed two separate committees on Tuesday to probe into the gas leak.