Steinitz calls Carmel Fire report 'delusional'

Interior minister Yishai says State Comptroller's document contains factual errors and erroneous conclusions.

February 9, 2012 22:58
1 minute read.
Burnt trees after the Carmel Fire

Burnt trees after the Carmel Fire 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)


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Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz reacted Thursday to a report by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on the handling of the Carmel Fire disaster, calling it "delusional and nonsensical to the extreme," Israel Radio reported Thursday.

Steinitz received a copy of the State Comptroller's report along with other senior officials that were audited, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

Yishai also reacted to the report Thursday, saying there were factual errors in the Comptroller's analysis, and that his office would work towards rectifying any erroneous conclusions.

He also said the document claims he was actively trying to address the shortfalls in Israel's fire-response capabilities.

The State Comptroller, Judge Emeritus Micha Lindenstrauss, sent the final draft of his detailed report into the Carmel Fire to ministers and senior officials on Thursday, instructing them to file their responses within two weeks. 

Lindenstrauss also warned once again that his report will "expose serious failures that require immediate correction."

The State Comptroller said he has sent copies of the report, which is entitled The Carmel Fire December 2010 - Omissions, Failures and Conclusions, to everyone who has been audited, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aronovich and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Senior police, prison service,  fire services, home front command and Parks and Nature Authority officials also received a copy of draft report, and a copy has been sent to the attorney-general, Yehuda Weinstein.

After the State Comptroller's Office has received responses from all those audited, Lindenstrauss said he will compile the final report and release it to the public.

The Carmel Fire in December 2010 claimed the lives of 44 people, among them 37 prison service cadets and their commanding officers, who died when their bus was engulfed by flames.

The fire also caused widespread damage to land and property, totaling million of shekels. An estimated 1.5 million trees were destroyed in the fire.

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