Attorney seeks criminal inquiry into gas extraction firm after earthquakes

Lawyer Gerard Spong filed charges against gas company NAM on behalf of the Groninger Bodem Beweging and a number of individual residents. He is holding the company responsible for the deliberate destruction of houses and buildings in the province of Groningen.

Spong made this announcement on Friday, NU reports. The charges concerns gas mining in the province since 1963.

"NAm knowingly and continually drilled gas in Groningen, while they knew darn well what risks were involved therewith, countless human lives are put at risk", the lawyer said. "It is scandalous and a criminal court should pass a judgement on it."

Various scientific reports have shown that these drillings not only caused material damages, but also increased the risk of life-threatening danger to residents. "Two of my clients no longer dare to let their child sleep under the dormer because the earthquakes knocks grit of the ceiling", Spong said as an example. "It's terrifying for them."

According to him, the need for a criminal investigation and legal judgement is given by the government's positive obligation to protect its citizens against imminent danger to life or from injury.