Putin orders investigation into flood deaths


This still from a YouTube video shows men being dragged from the floodwaters with a rope.


Russia Today/YouTube

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an investigation into the 155 deaths caused by mass floods in that ravaged country this weekend, BBC News reported

"I have asked the leadership of the (federal) Investigative Committee to come down," Putin said late Saturday during a meeting with officials in Krymsk, the worst-hit town, Reuters reported. "The Investigative Committee will check the actions of all the authorities - how notice was given, how it could have been given, how it should have been given and who acted in what way."

Putin flew over the Saturday evening to survey the scale of the damage, the Financial Times reported. The President declared Monday a day of mourning for the victims of the flash floods, which started Friday evening when many residents were asleep, according to the Financial Times.

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Torrential rains accumulated to a foot of water in less than 24 hours, USA Today reported, five times the monthly average.

Residents of the town of Krymsk speculated that water had been intentionally released from a reservoir in the mountains above, though local officials denied the accusations, according to USA Today. 

On Saturday, Putin requested that the Krymsk reservoir be checked by the Emergencies Ministry, according to the BBC. 

The floods are the first major disaster in Russia since Putin took office a third-term earlier this year, after serving a four-year term as prime minister, BBC News reported. 

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