Tokyo: Japanese prosecutors have reportedly begun a criminal investigation into last year’s Fukushima nuclear plant accident.
The probe by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor`s Office and two other district prosecutor`s offices came in response to five criminal complaints, including accusations that TEPCO executives and government officials committed ‘acts of professional negligence’.
Another complaint accuses six government officials, including former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, of failing to act quickly to ensure that radioactive steam was vented from the containment vessel of the plant`s reactor 1, leading to hydrogen explosions that injured plant workers, The Japan Times reports.
Tokyo prosecutors accepted three criminal complaints, including one that accuses 26 senior officials of TEPCO and the education ministry of actions that resulted in the deaths of hospital patients near the plant and the unnecessary exposure of residents to radiation.
According to the report, in another complaint accepted by the Fukushima prosecutors some 1,300 prefectural residents accused 33 people, including former Tepco Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and Haruki Madarame, chairman of the government`s Nuclear Safety Commission, of negligence in connection with the disaster.