The K. Jayakumar-led panel appointed by the government to probe the four simultaneous bursts on the 1200-mm pre-stressed concrete transmission mainline carrying water from Aruvikkara to the city February 25 held a sitting with the officials of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

The panel, which held the sitting from 4.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., interacted with and recorded statements of officials ranging from KWA Managing Director Ashok Kumar Singh to Assistant Executive Engineers.

According to official sources, none of the engineers or officials could give the panel a ‘definite explanation’ as to how the incident, which they admitted was ‘unusual’ and ‘a first in the history of the KWA,’ could have occurred. The panel was learnt to be preparing to hold detailed discussions with technical experts outside the KWA on the issue.

Mr. Jayakumar, who told The Hindu that the panel was ‘inching towards a finding’ and expressed confidence of reaching a conclusion soon, said a site inspection would be held on March 22, apart from an inspection of the whole pipeline and a visit to Aruvikkara as well.

The online valves, the ‘unauthorised’ closure of which was suspected to have caused the burst, too would be inspected. The public too would be allowed to meet the panel and contribute any information they might have on the incident, he said.

Mr. Jayakumar said the role of the valves and its closure as contributing factors could be confirmed only after technical discussions. It was too early to say something on that now, he said.

KWA sources said one of the traffic cameras at Vellayambalam was learnt to have recordings of a maintenance van stationed near the valve there at the time when the burst occurred.

The panel was likely to source the video recordings from the police to examine the same.