A collapsed coal mine ceiling in west Georgia has resulted in the deaths of six miners, while injuring three others.
The country’s interior ministry said that the accident took place at the Mindeli mine in Tkibuli, located around 200km west of the capital city of Tbilisi.
Georgia Minister of Economy Dimitri Kumsishvili said that an investigation has been ordered to see whether the accident is a result of possible violations of safety rules. Labour inspectors have been dispatched to probe the mine site.
The accident had been caused by a pressure bump, Kumsishvili added.
Coal mine operator Saknakhshiri said in a statement that it is investigating the causes of the accident.
Saknakhshiri is part of the Georgian Industrial Group (GIG), a company with operations in energy, natural gas, and real estate.
Last May, four miners were killed in the same mine when they were trying to repair a lift in the shaft. The lift collapsed and the workers fell 350m into the mine.
Again in October 2017, a miner was killed in a coal shaft in Tkibuli.
Georgia’s Parliament recently adopted a bill on labour safety that mandates higher fines for employers violating safety rules.
The Law on Safety at Work covers 11 hazardous sectors such as the oil and gas industries, construction, electricity, transport, light industry, glass production, furniture manufacturing, heavy industry, metallurgy, mining, and chemical production.
The law is scheduled to come into force after 1 August 2018.