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Investigation continues
Picture: Laurie Benson Investigation continues

The State’s energy safety watchdog says an investigation into the death of an 18-year-old Somali refugee who died in a suspected gas explosion at his home in Albany in June will likely continue into next year.

The investigation by the Office of Energy Safety, which has been ongoing since the incident on July 20, is yet to determine what triggered the explosion at the rental property on Middleton Road which killed Barkad Ahmed Muse and seriously injured his 58-year-old aunt Halimo Farah.

Office of Energy Safety director Ken Bowron said after nearly five months of work investigators were no closer to establishing the cause of the explosion.

Mr Bowron stressed his staff were looking into a number of leads as well as waiting on a report from gas network operator ATCO Gas Australia, which he said had co-operated fully with the investigation from the start.

“ATCO are obliged to submit a report to us,” Mr Bowron said. “We don’t rely on that report but it’s certainly one of the inputs we take and … we’re expecting that report in December.

“We’re still conducting some of our own tests on various investigations that technical specialists are looking at, but we are waiting on what ATCO says to us.

“It’s one of those sorts of things that is quite forensic and very technical and it’s very hard to give people exact times on how long it will take.”

Mr Bowron said despite the complexity of the investigation, which will lead to the energy regulator compiling their report early next year, he was confident in establishing the cause of the explosion.

“There are very few incidents where you don’t find the cause … I’m quietly confident we will do this early in the new year barring us finding anything particularly troublesome in that process.”

An ATCO Gas Australia spokeswoman said the company was co-operating with the investigation.