A PROBLEM in the pipe connection of its sprinkler system may have caused part of the ceiling of Ayala Center Cebu's Cinema 5 to collapse, the investigation report of a private engineering firm that inspected the area revealed.

Office of the Building Official (OBO) Chief Jose Marie Poblete said that private inspectors found a part of the pipe connection for the mall's sprinkler system had been loosened, causing the water to leak when the movie house was rented by Dreamscape Networks for the launch of its new advertising campaign last June 15.

The finding was incorporated in the investigation report that the management of Ayala submitted to OBO yesterday.

"We're still in the process of going through the report, but initially, they have pinpointed the cause of the incident," Poblete said.

Inspectors also believe that the earthquake that jolted Cebu last March may have loosened the pipe connection of the sprinkler system.

Following the incident, OBO required the management to submit an investigation report.

The City Government required Ayala to conduct a hydro test, tension test of broken rods, megger test, flood testing of deck, plumbing test, fire detection alarm system, structural integrity and rehabilitation plan to find out if all safety features are functional.

A third party inspector was hired to conduct the tests recommended by the City.

Poblete said that OBO will verify the findings of the inspectors and determine why only one connection in the sprinkler system was affected.

Poblete said that materials used in Cinema 5 are of standard quality.

"There might be a problem on workmanship... on how the pipe was tightened," Poblete said.

Ayala will be asked to present the third-party findings to City Hall officials.

The management can meet with OBO or directly make a presentation to the City Council through an executive session scheduled on July 8.