The dam breaches on September 11 outside Derna, a coastal city in eastern Libya, were triggered by a Mediterranean storm
The death toll ranges between 4,000 and 11,000, according to aid agencies.
Derna mayor among those questioned
Derna Mayor Abdel-Moneim al-Ghaithi, who was sacked after the disaster, was among those questioned, according to a statement by the office of General Prosecutor al-Sidiq al-Sour.
Prosecutors also ordered officials with the Water Resources Authority and the Dams Management Authority jailed pending the completion of the investigation, the statement added.
They were questioned over allegations that mismanagement, negligence and mistakes contributed to the disaster. Prosecutors maintain the officials did not provide enough evidence to avoid being charged.
The state of dams in Libya
The dams were built by a construction company from former Yugoslavia in the 1970s above Wadi Derna, a river valley which divides the city.
The dams were meant to protect the city from flash floods. A Turkish firm was also contracted in 2007 to carry out maintenance on the two dams that it said it completed in 2012.
A report by a state-run audit agency in 2021 said the two dams hadn’t been maintained despite the allocation of more than $2 million (€1.88 million) for that purpose in 2012 and 2013.
The effect of civil war on Libya's critical infrastructure
Libya has long suffered political turmoil since a pro-democracy uprising more than a decade ago overthrew longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
The nation has since been divided between rival administrations in the east and west, which complicated the situation on the ground and left critical infrastructure in a state of neglect.
The oil-rich nation also saw a civil war between 2014 and 2020, which greatly damaged critical infrastructure.
Experts in the country had raised repeated alarm bells, including last year, about the need for dam maintenance.
rm/wmr (Reuters, AP)