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Russian officials detained for negligence in flood-hit region

(Xinhua)

10:36, July 23, 2012

MOSCOW, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Russia has detained three officials for negligence in their handling of a flood incident that has killed 172 people in the south, the country's federal investigating body said Sunday.

"Head of Krymsk district Vasily Krutko, Major of Krymsk Vladimir Ulanovsky and Viktor Zhdanov, acting head of the department on prevention of emergency situations of the Krymsk region, have been detained in relation to an investigation of a criminal case," Spokesman for the Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin told reporters.

All the detained officials received warnings of downpours and flooding on July 5 and July 6, but failed to inform and evacuate local residents in time, Markin said.

Their negligence had led to grave consequences: the death of 153 people living in Krymsk, a district of the flood-stricken Krasnodar territory, he said.

Irina Ryabchenko, mayor of Nizhnebakansk town in Krymsk, was also listed as a suspect but he was not detained, Markin said, adding that the investigation over the devastating flood was still underway.

Krasnodar territory has been hit since July 5 by the worst downpours and flooding in decades, with three districts -- Krymsk, Gelendzhik and Novorossiisk -- taking the brunt of the natural disaster. Some 35,000 people have been affected.

The Russian government has pledged 3.8 billion rubles (115.88 million U.S. dollars) to compensate the affected families and finance the reconstruction.

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