Rescuers in Batumi, Georgia, recovered the bodies of victims of a residential building collapse on Friday. Nine people died. The rescue operation lasted over a day. Monday was declared a day of national mourning in Georgia.
On Friday in Batumi, Georgia the annex of a five-story residential building collapsed. Only two living people were recovered from the rubble, one of them – a woman – later died in the hospital. Georgian media reports about it. There are three children among the dead.
During the action, the rescuers had contact by phone or verbal with some people crushed by the debris. According to the media, children’s screams were heard from under the rubble on Friday during the day. They could not be saved.
In the initial phase of the rescue operation, at least two people were pulled out of cars parked next to the house, which were also under debris.
The rescue operation lasted from early Friday afternoon to late Saturday afternoon. After the recovery of people believed to be missing, the Ministry of the Interior announced that the debris clearance was suspended due to the risk of another fragment of the building collapsing. 300 people worked there on Friday evening.
Residents are on the spot of the tragedy
The media reported that despite nightfall, many people remained near the site of the tragedy, praying and lighting candles. Earlier, the inhabitants of Batumi organized help for the victims, collecting clothes and food for them, offering them accommodation. The authorities promised to help the victims.
Construction disaster in Batumi, Georgia
Part of a five-story apartment building in Batumi collapsed on Friday around noon Georgian time (10 in Poland), and the cause is not known yet. Some witnesses said they heard the explosion, which could indicate a gas explosion. Another version tells about the collapse of the load-bearing wall due to improperly carried out renovation on the ground floor of the building, where there are, among others, cafes, shops and a beauty salon.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, the main of the currently investigated versions of the cause of the disaster is the removal of the load-bearing wall during the renovation on the ground floor. Three people, including the owner of the premises, were detained.
National mourning in Georgia
Among others, the Minister of the Interior and Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili came to Batumi. There were representatives of the city authorities on the spot.
Due to the tragedy in Georgia, Monday was declared a day of national mourning. Political parties announced the suspension of the campaign ahead of the second round of local elections on October 30. Mass events are canceled.
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