Investigations after the flood disaster in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate | free press

Koblenz / Mainz / Cologne / Erftstadt (dpa) – After the flood disaster in mid-July, the public prosecutors of Koblenz and Cologne launched an investigation.

Jürgen Pföhler (CDU), the district administrator of the Rhineland-Palatinate district of Ahrweiler, which was particularly affected by the disaster, is investigating the initial suspicion of culpable homicide and negligent bodily harm caused by a disturbance on the evening of the flooding of July 14. the Koblenz authority with. The investigations in North Rhine-Westphalia are aimed at unknown persons, according to the Cologne public prosecutor. This concerns the suspicion of construction risk in connection with the accident at the Blessemer gravel pit.

Clues to the first suspicion

The initial suspicion of the Koblenz prosecutor’s office is against the district manager, because according to the law he “may have been in charge of the operations and the sole decision-making power”. In addition, it involved another member of the crisis team who, according to the current state of affairs, had taken over “at least temporarily”, the prosecutor continued.

According to her, there is a first suspicion that a corresponding negligence was at least “(partly) the cause” of some of the deaths and personal injuries that occurred. A review of studies into the deaths of flood victims found that deaths occurred mainly downstream of Ahrbrück, with a major focus in the town of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler.

A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor’s office in Cologne says that an investigation is also being considered into possible negligence on the part of those responsible for the flood disaster. Spokespersons for the prosecutors of Bonn and Aachen have made similar statements.

141 dead in the Ahr Valley

Extreme heavy rainfall caused a tidal wave on the Ahr in northern Rhineland-Palatinate on 14 and 15 July and flooded large parts of the valley. About 42,000 people are affected by the effects of the flood. The death toll in the Ahr Valley now stands at 141, with 17 still missing.

The storm killed 47 people in North Rhine-Westphalia. There was also enormous material damage. In Blessem (Rhine-Erft district) near Cologne, on the night of July 16, the ground at a gravel pit on the River Erft had slipped after the well had been flooded by heavy rainfall during the flood disaster. Several buildings were swept away, there were no deaths.

Facility in Sinzig: Clarification required

The German Foundation for Patient Protection requested comprehensive information about the deaths of twelve residents of an institution for people with intellectual disabilities in Sinzig (Rhineland-Palatinate). Even before the flood it was clear that the needy inhabitants would not be able to save themselves. “This disaster cannot be dealt with through criminal law alone,” said the foundation’s board of directors, Eugen Brysch. “It requires clarification and personal consequences from all those responsible.” The interior of the Lebenshilfe, located on the banks of the Ahr, with 34 living areas, was flooded in a short time.

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