March 23
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The prosecutor supervising the legality of pretrial criminal proceedings on Monday decided to initiate a public criminal prosecution against Major M. S., the head of the utility operation service and the head of the fire safety and rescue works service of a military unit, under Section 3 (military official negligence which negligently caused the death of a person) of Article 550 of the Criminal Code of Armenia.

The Prosecutor General's Office informs Armenian that M. S. was detained on Tuesday.

During the investigation of the criminal proceedings being examined by the Investigative Committee, facts were obtained that M. S., being a commander (chief) and an official responsible for the organization of fire protection, did not fulfill his respective duties, including towards providing with appropriate means of fire protection to the engineer-sapper platoon of the military unit located in Azat village of Gegharkunik Province, as a result, carelessly caused the death of people.

On January 19, after midnight, an officer of the engineering service of aforesaid military unit, who was in charge of the accommodation area, in violation of the established order, lit the stove with automotive gasoline in the accommodation intended for the personnel of the above-mentioned unit, as a result of which a fire broke out in the accommodation.

Due to the lack of corresponding fire safety measures, it was not only not possible for the servicemen in the accommodation to put it out, but also, in the absence of a backup exit, to break the iron bars attached to the windows of the accommodation and get out.

As a result, the aforesaid platoon’s 15 conscript soldiers, who were resting in the accommodation, died, and the officer and four conscripts sustained physical injuries of varying degrees.

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