Mayor, District Head Held over Deadly Russian Flood

Investigators detained several prominent local officials over a deadly flood that ravaged the city of Krymsk in southern Russia.

Detainees are Krymsk mayor Vasily Krutko; head of the eponymous district, Vladimir Ulanovsky; and the acting chief of the district branch of the emergency service, Viktor Zhdanov, the Investigative Committee said on its website on Sunday.

The three are suspects in a criminal case opened on charges of professional negligence that resulted in multiple deaths, the committee said.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

The officials were held on Friday, but the move was not announced earlier, the committee said. A court is to rule on a formal arrest warrant no later than Monday.

A flashflood that followed days of torrential rains ravaged the Krymsk neighborhood on July 7, killing 153, according to regional administration’s figures.

Local residents have accused officials of failing to issue a proper warning about the upcoming flood. The administration said it launched news ticker on local television and sent out mass text messages, but the power was out before the flood, shutting off TV sets, and the text messages mostly arrived too late and in truncated form.

President Vladimir Putin promised earlier this week that local officials will be punished for their handling of the disaster.

The opposition earlier demanded to sack Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachyov, but he kept his job so far.


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