Belgium opens investigation for manslaughter following flood deaths

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Belgium opens investigation for manslaughter following flood deaths


A Belgian judge has opened an investigation for a possible manslaughter following the floods which left 38 dead there, announced the public prosecutor of the city of Liège.

The investigating judge’s mission is to identify who could be responsible for “manslaughter by carelessness or precaution,” the prosecution said in a statement on Wednesday.

Liège, in the French-speaking region of Wallonia in the south of the country, was the most affected by the disaster.

Questions are already being raised in the aftermath of the floods of July 14 and 15, in particular about possible failures of the flood warning system.

Cars swept away as Belgian city suffers worst flooding in decades - video
Cars swept away as Belgian city suffers worst flooding in decades – video

Some of those caught up in the disaster said they were not warned that a dam in Eupen in the east of the country, submerged in water, had its gates open – before all the inhabitants were not evacuated.

Earlier this week, a political party in Belgium called for the appointment of a parliamentary commission to investigate the deadly floods.

The Humanist Democratic Center (CDH) has declared that it does not want to launch a “witch hunt” but hopes to shed light on the disaster.

Groups of Belgian citizens are also reportedly considering legal action against the state for its alleged failure to protect them.

“The urgency remains to help the victims, and all efforts must be directed at the moment on the management of the crisis”, declared the party CDH.

The latest provisional death toll stands at 38, the federal police told AFP on Wednesday, contradicting the figure of 41 put forward by the head of the Walloon regional government, Elio Di Rupo.

Neighboring Germany was also hit hard by the floods, which claimed the lives of more than 180 people.

With AFP and AP

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