Russian official arrested in connection with Karelia lake tragedy
MOSCOW, June 21 (RAPSI) – Anatoliy Kovalenko, the head of Karelia's consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, has been arrested on suspicion of negligence in relation to an accident at the lake Syamozero resulted in the deaths of 14 children, the Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin announced on Tuesday.
Investigators claim that in 2015 Karelia’s executive authorities including regional office of Rospotrbnadzor received complaints of numerous law violations concerning organization of children’s recreation by the “Park-Hotel “Syamozero” management. However, Kovalenko and other officials did not take any action against managers of the children’s camp.
Earlier, a case was opened under the Criminal Code’s Article “Fulfillment of Works or Rendering of Services Which Do Not Meet Safety Standards” against the “Park-Hotel” executive Elena Reshetova, her deputy Vadim Vinogradov, instructors Lyudmila Vasilyeva and Regina Ivanova and Valeriy Krupodershikov.
According to investigators, on June 18 children and instructors of the children’s camp “Park-Hotel “Syamozero” were sailing on a raft and two canoes over the lake Syamozero in Karelia. 47 children were accompanied by 4 adults (Vinogradov, Krupodershchikov, Ivanova and Vasilyeva) who did not take gathering storm into account. Storm made sailing extremely dangerous: a raft with children and two adults washed up near one of the islands while both canoes were capsized, leaving passengers in the open waters.
Only some managed to swim across to the shore. According to the latest data of the Investigative Committee, 14 children drowned with 13 bodies found. Searches for the last one are in progress. Other children survived and were evacuated.