Four miners were killed and six others were injured in a mining accident at the Mindeli coal mine in Tkibuli, western Georgia.
The Interior Ministry said the accident occurred in one of the mine tunnels, presumably due to a methane gas exposition, which triggered 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.
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze issued a statement on the matter, expressing his condolences to the families of the deceased. He also said the Mindeli mine would remain closed pending “high quality” technical inspection.
Besik Amiranashvili, Chief of the Regional Police Department in Imereti, reported earlier that all 25 mines in Tkibuli would be sealed until investigation is completed.
According to the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation, a total of 29 workers died and 24 others were injured in work-related accidents in 2018. Among them, eleven died and 10 were injured in mining accidents.
In Tkibuli, this is the second major mining accident in 2018. Six miners died and another three were injured in the Mindeli coal mine on April 5, reportedly as a result of a rock burst.
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.