One person was fatally injured and eight more sustained injuries in a coal mine explosion in Tkibuli, western Georgia, Tkibuli majoritarian MP Bezhan Tsakadze confirmed early on January 31.
Injured miners were first admitted in a local hospital and subsequently transferred to Tbilisi.
The police told InterPressNews agency that a probe was launched under Article 240 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, involving breach of safety regulations during mining and construction works.
Labor Inspection Office has also begun examining the incident. Citing initial findings, the agency said later on January 31 that the works were carried out at the mine in violation of safety rules.
The Office suggested that blasting and drilling took place at the mine when methane levels were higher than 1%, exceeding the legally allowed threshold.
Also, the Agency said that a technical supervisor was not present during the works, another violation of the safety rules.
The Labor Inspection Office stated that final conclusions will be available after the inspectors wrap up their probe. In the meantime, the agency has ordered to suspend blasting in the mine and close down the section of the mine where the incident took place.
NB: This article was updated at 18:50, January 31 with a statement delivered by the Labor Inspection Office.