Six miners died and another three were injured in a mining accident at the Mindeli coal mine in Tkibuli, western Georgia.
Saknakhshiri, the company that operates the mine, said the accident occurred at 03:50 today after a rock burst. “According to preliminary information, the shock wave [that was generated by the rock burst] spread into neighboring tunnels, injuring three miners and killing six,” it said.
The Georgian Trade Unions Confederation confirmed the version in its statement, saying the miners died from a shock wave, which was generated after a rock burst. Earlier, the Interior Ministry claimed the accident could have been caused by a roof collapse.
Investigation into the matter has been launched under article 240 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving violation of mine safety regulations.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze and the Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili have expressed their condolences to the families of the deceased.
Mine in Tkibuli is operated by Saknakhshiri, a daughter company of the Georgian Industrial Group, a conglomerate founded by former lawmaker Davit Bezhuashvili - a brother of Gela Bezhuashvili, former chief of the Georgian Intelligence Service.