Six miners die in western Georgia mining accident
Six miners have lost their lives and another three have been injured in a mining accident at the Mindeli mine, Tkibuli city.
The accident took place at around 4 am on 5 April.
An investigation is currently under way by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia according to Article 240 of the criminal code, which provides for up to five years’ imprisonment for individuals guilty of violating safety codes during mining and construction work.
Preliminary data from the investigation has so far revealed that an eroded wall in one of the mine tunnels caused the collapse.
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased. He stated that all the necessary medical expenses will be covered for those who have been injured and help will be provided and paid for by the state.
The president of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, also extended his condolences to the families of the miners who lost their lives, noting that the situation in the country concerning workplace safety is ‘serious and unacceptable’.
“This is an issue not only of worker safety, but of life and death,” read the president’s statement.
Margvelashvili further said: “It is impossible for the state and society to come to terms with such a situation and accept it.”
“Societal efforts are necessary, including from the side of employers and in the first place from the authorities, to control and check as strictly as possible the requirements of workplace safety,” he added.
• ‘Georgia has had an issue with workplace safety for many years. Since the beginning of 2018 up until today, 19 people have died at their workplaces,’ reports on.ge, citing the labour inspection service of the Ministry of Health of Georgia.
• The second-last unfortunate incident of the sort took place last week on 26 March in Chiatura – as a result, a 45-year-old miner lost his life.
• Data from labour unions say that over the course of 2017, 41 people lost their lives at their workplaces and 63 people were injured as a result of labour safety violations.
• 1209 people have lost their lives since 2011 due to workplace-related accidents.
Photo: David Tabagari