At least 30 detained in Saudi flood probe: reports

The floods are known to have killed 123 people, but a further 38 are still unaccounted for.

At least 30 detained in Saudi flood probe: reports

Saudi Arabia has detained at least 30 people, including active and retired officials, for questioning over floods that killed more than 120 people in the port city of Jeddah last month, newspapers reported on Sunday.

People were swept to their death after heavy rain in the Red Sea port destroyed bridges and roads and caused flash floods that swept through illegal housing developments, some of them built on dry river beds and in valleys.

The newspapers al-Watan, al-Hayat and Okaz said at least 30 people, including officials who had issued construction permits, were held for interrogation in connection with one of the worst natural disasters to hit the desert kingdom.

The floods are known to have killed 123 people, but a further 38 are still unaccounted for.

King Abdullah, who ordered the investigation, told a Kuwaiti newspaper over the weekend that he would show no leniency "towards those who were negligent in carrying out their duties".

He also acknowledged that the disaster should lead to a review of infrastructure in other cities.

Al-Hayat said no charges had been laid. Officials at Jeddah city council could not immediately be reached for comment.

"This has been going on since the 1980s, but little has been done about it ... There is public outrage, look at the newspapers. There has to be some exemplary finger-pointing at the people responsible," a Jeddah-based professional said.

Public outrage over the disaster has spawned accusations of corruption among city officials.


Reuters


Last Mod: 27 Aralık 2009, 17:19
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