what difference does it really make? Put a box on the end of the conduit and be done with it. The tech was an idiot for not being aware of the layout of the building and blindly running a fishtape down a conduit, that is obviously directly above the panel on the floor below.
The open conduit that was feeding into the main breaker was also directly next to a sink. Common sense tells me that there shouldn't be an open conduit feeding into a large breaker like that near a water source either.
Huh? if the open conduit and sink was on a different floor, the fact there was water is meaningless. You can put a panel right beside a sink if you want to as long as you respect required work clearances.
so, put a box on the conduit and move on with life. There are more important issues to deal with than worry about some number from a book.