April 5, 2018 - The country of Georgia has declared April 6 as a day of mourning after an accident in a mine in west Georgia has claimed six lives and injuring three.
Flags on state buildings will fly at half-staff tomorrow.
The deceased mine workers are: Pavle Gamezardashvili, 26, Giorgi Bochorishvili, 28, Mirza Kurtsikidze, 46, Besik Gurgenidze, 50, Elguja Bochorishvili, 52 and Gogi Rapava, 59.
One of the three mine workers injured in today’s accident has told Georgian Economy Minister Dimitri Kumsishvili that he has never witnessed anything of the sort before, and stated that the reason behind the accident early this morning was a coal mine bump.
"I have been working as a miner for 10 years and I have never witnessed anything of the sort. What happened was a mine bump, which gave no previous signs and happened unexpectedly. Due to the coal bump a huge wave of air is created unexpectedly,” said mine worker Irakli Kirkitadze. The air wave dragged me 15-17 meters,” he said.
The head of Saknakhrishi, the company conducting mining works in the western Tkibuli region, also stated that the reason behind the tragedy could have been a bump, which "similar to earthquake is impossible to forecast.”
The health condition of the three injured workers is stable as doctors say and their lives are not at risk.
Six miners died and three have been injured as the ceiling collapsed at the Mindeli coal mine in the town of Tkibuli in the west of Georgia last night.
Two of those injured have been sent to the hospital in the nearby town of Kutaisi, while the other was sent to a hospital in Tkibuli.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili offered his deep condolences to the families of those who died in last night’s accident.
The tragedy that has happened in Tkibuli reveals how the existing situation in terms of the labour safety is dramatically serious and unacceptable," President Margvelashvili said.
He said it is important that the state and society use all their efforts to control and ensure the execution of labour safety rules.
Georgian Parliamentary Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze also expressed his sadness over the tragic accident at the Mindlei coal mine.
He said this is a tragedy not only for particular families, but the entire country.
Everything should be done to protect safety and labor rights, so that our citizens do not have to risk their own health and life at their workplaces," Kobakhidze said.
According to the Interior Ministry, an investigation of the case is underway under Article #240 the criminal code on the alleged violation of safety standards. The article provides for a prison sentence of up to five years for those convicted.
A 14-member crew of the Emergency Management Service from Tbilisi immediately arrived to the site of the accident.
The representatives of the cabinet of ministers have also left to Tkibuli.
Offering his condolences to the families of the deceased, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says everything is being done to ensure the rapid recovery of those who have injured.
CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News