28 Dec 2009

Saudi officials questioned over deadly floods

1:36 pm on 28 December 2009

Saudi Arabia has reportedly detained at least 30 people for questioning over floods that killed more than 120 people in the city of Jeddah last month.

The victims were swept to their death after heavy rain in the Red Sea port destroyed bridges and roads and caused flash floods that swept through illegal housing developments.

Newspapers in Saudi Arabia are reporting that among those arrested are officials who had issued construction permits.

The floods are known to have killed 123 people, but a further 38 are still unaccounted for.

Jeddah has become notorious for its pot-holed streets, poor sewage system and slums. Residents often complain that the government pays far less attention to Jeddah's infrastructure than that of the capital, Riyadh.

Public outrage over the disaster has spawned accusations of corruption among city officials.