Deer surveys damage from Carmel fire 521.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
In a tour on Thursday to Usfiya and other areas affected by December’s deadly
Mount Carmel Fire, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss told reporters that the
report his office is preparing on the tragedy would be “very
Forty-four people died in the fire, the deadliest in the state’s
history. Among the victims were 37 Prisons Service cadets and their commanding
officers, who died when their bus was engulfed by flames.
Court rejects lawsuit against Yishai on Carmel fire death
President honors youth who lost life fighting Carmel Fire
Prison officers killed in Carmel fire recognized
The fire also
caused widespread damage, totalling millions of shekels, to land and property.
An estimated 1.5 million trees were destroyed.
A week ago, Lindenstrauss
had warned members of the Knesset State Control Committee that the in-depth
report his office prepared uncovered “very serious evidence of negligence” and
would include “grave findings.”
“All of our investigations have been in
great depth, and have examined every single aspect of what took place in order
to get to the truth of the matter,” Lindenstrauss told the committee.
team of 30 auditors has investigated all of the many organizations involved in
firefighting, including the police, the Prisons Service, the Fire Service and
the IDF Home Front Command.
The auditors have also interviewed almost all
the families of persons who died in the fire, whom Lindenstrauss noted had been
Senior government figures, including Finance
Minister Yuval Steinitz and Interior Minister Eli Yishai, were also interviewed
by the State Comptroller’s Office.
Yishai faced sharp criticism and calls
to resign after the tragedy.
According to Ma’ariv, leaked parts of the
first draft of the report say there was “unbelievable criminal negligence” and
government failures with regard to firefighting capabilities.
In about a
week, the first draft of the report is to be sent to the investigated
organizations for comment. The final report will be published at least a month