The mayor of Derna in eastern Libya, along with several other officials, has been taken into custody on suspicion of mismanagement and negligence in relation to the dam failures that led to catastrophic flooding in the city two weeks ago, as confirmed by Libya’s attorney general’s office on Monday, September 25.
Based in the capital, Tripoli, the attorney general’s office disclosed that it had issued detention orders for eight local officials involved in the collapse of the dams during a storm, resulting in a devastating torrent that engulfed neighborhoods and caused the loss of thousands of lives.
The statement pointed to the “mistakes made” by these officials and their “negligence in disaster prevention” as contributing factors to the tragedy.
The detained individuals, including the mayor and a water resources official, were not specifically named in the statement. The attorney general’s office, in a separate release on Monday, accused these officials of multiple failings, such as mishandling funds intended for dam maintenance, ultimately leading to the dam failures and subsequent flooding in Derna.
Furthermore, the attorney general’s office stated that these officials had exhibited negligence by failing to implement precautionary measures, resulting in flood-related fatalities and substantial economic losses for Libya.
On Sunday, the eastern government reported that the confirmed death toll from the floods had risen to 3,868.
The attorney general’s office also indicated that ongoing investigations into other officials could lead to additional arrests in the future