A public official is charged with the reckless homicide of 141 people
The catastrophic floods and flash floods in mid-July in Germany, which killed more than 200 people, may have criminal consequences. The Koblenz prosecutor’s office announced on Friday the opening of an investigation into charges of multiple reckless homicide and multiple reckless injuries against the district chief of Ahrweiler, the town that was devastated by floods and floods, which swept away 60 of its 70 bridges, in addition to totally or partially destroying 70% of its buildings. Only in the Ahr river valley, with 56,000 inhabitants, three out of every four victims of the flood in the entire country perished on the night of July 14-15, a total of 141 people, while another 766 were injured. To this day, 16 are still missing, probably buried under the masses of mud and mud that still cover a good part of the river basin.
Prosecutors in Koblenz believe there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the inhabitants of the Ahr Valley were alerted too late to the impending floods and floods. Everything seems to indicate that at the latest at 8:30 p.m. on July 14, “the danger of the flood had not been warned or the evacuation of the inhabitants of the Ahr valley had begun, despite the fact that at that time it seemed the most appropriate”. highlights the statement of the aforementioned prosecutor’s office announcing the opening of the investigation against Jürgen Pföhler, head of the district of Ahrweiler and the Ahr valley. The public prosecution considers that the public official acted negligently “by not alerting with the necessary clarity or doing it too late” of the imminent danger to the population. Prosecutors will study to what extent the lack of measures taken in time may be directly related to the death of dozens of inhabitants or the injuries suffered by hundreds of them.
The investigation is also directed against a second member of the crisis cabinet under Pföhler, who temporarily took command of it. Prosecutors, who have the collaboration of agents from the Rhineland Palatinate Criminal Investigation Office (LKA), have already seized all the documentation handled by the crisis cabinet, as well as personal communication devices, mobile phones , tablets and computers, of the two suspects to be thoroughly analyzed. The public prosecution office in Koblenz warned that it does not expect quick results and stressed that so far it only addresses a principle of suspicion. “Given the dramatic nature of the events and the terrible consequences thereof, the prosecution underlines in a special way the presumption of innocence of the accused,” the official statement highlights. A first official balance sheet of damages in the Ahr valley speaks of 2,700 million euros. Damage that has been assessed thanks to images taken by the Kopernikus satellite and reconnaissance photographs expressly taken by two Luftwaffe Tornado fighter-bombers