Publishedduration5 minutes agoshareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingmedia captionFlint resident Melissa Mays: 'Our hair fell out'

Michigan's former governor has been charged over the deadly contamination of water in the city of Flint.

Officials charged Rick Snyder with wilful neglect of duty, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine, reports the Associated Press.

His health director and other former officials are also expected to be charged.

Twelve people died after the city switched its water supply to the Flint River in 2014 in a bid to save money.

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease followed, and residents were found to have drunk water poisoned with lead.

The criminal charges on Wednesday followed a new investigation into the case. Prosecutors dropped previous charges in 2019, pledging a more thorough probe.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she will give more details at a news conference on Thursday.

The environmental disaster attracted global attention as activists accused officials of racism. Flint is a majority-African American city, where over 40% of the residents live in poverty, and some suggested that authorities' indifference to the community led to the crisis.