Correctional referrals required after three drownings in an Ehpad on the Côte d’Azur

A trial in sight following the fatal floods of 2015 on the Côte d’Azur? The Grasse prosecutor’s office announced on Thursday that it had requested the dismissal of three people after the death of three residents of an Orpea retirement home in Biot (Alpes-Maritimes) who were found drowned. The decision is now in the hands of an investigating judge, who can follow these requisitions or, on the contrary, dismiss the case.

The director of the Le Clos Saint-Grégoire nursing home, which has since been closed, the former mayor of this town, Guilaine Debras, as well as the person in charge of natural risks at the town hall are in any case targeted for “acts of involuntary homicide and endangering the life of others by manifestly deliberate violation of an obligation of security or prudence”, specified the prosecution to 20 minutesconfirming information from Nice-Matin.

Orpea, which managed the establishment, was also the subject of a request for referral to corrections, as a legal person. “As we have always done, we will continue to provide all our support to the manifestation of the truth and reserve for the moment all our reflections to the judicial authority”, had declared the direction of the group to 20 minutesin 2021, at the time of his indictment.

A total of twenty dead

On October 3, 2015, a wave of water and mud swept through a valley and invaded through all the openings the ground floor of the retirement home, located at the foot of the medieval village of Biot, just next to its famous glassworks. The establishment, close to a rainwater drainage channel and which had already experienced two floods, has since been closed. During the flood, around twenty residents had been evacuated from the ground floor by two employees, but three women, aged 82, 91 and 94, had drowned.

The deadly deluge that fell in one evening on the Côte d’Azur had killed twenty people in total. Not far from the retirement home, a 62-year-old Briton had drowned in a campsite in Antibes, totally devastated by the sudden flooding of the Brague, a coastal river.

The heaviest price had been paid by the town of Mandelieu-la-Napoule, west of the Alpes-Maritimes, where the emergency services had found the bodies of eight people in the underground car parks of several nearby residences. The victims had gone to retrieve their vehicle.

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