Rescuers are looking for 10 to 15 people who are under the rubble of a collapsed outbuilding of a five-story residential building in Batumi, the Georgian Interior Ministry has reported. Two people, under the rubble, are alive and managed to reach the rescuers.
The cause of the construction disaster that occurred on Friday afternoon is still unknown. So far, it is known that three people have been saved, including a baby that was in a car parked next to the house and two other children, most likely excavated from under the rubble. So far, there is no information about the fatalities.
Earlier, local authorities said that a search for eight people is ongoing. Later, the Georgian Interior Ministry said that 10 to 15 people were wanted. Fifteen families lived in the outbuilding.
Two people under the rubble of the building managed to call the rescuers. There was also information that rescuers made contact with several people trapped under the rubble. One of them was said to “can breathe” – reports local TV Formula.
The recordings from the scene show fire brigades and ambulances. According to the media, a decision was made not to use heavy debris removal equipment for fear of causing casualties.
Witnesses heard the explosion
The crash site was surrounded by police. In a statement, the Georgian Interior Ministry asked residents and the media to follow the instructions of the officers.
The Russian-language Tbilisi Life channel on Telegram reports that the relatives of the residents have gathered next to the building. Many of them are in a bad mental state.
The building collapsed around noon Georgian time. Some witnesses said they heard an 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. The authorities have not yet commented on the possible causes of the accident.
The mobilization of emergency services, the structures of the Ministry of the Interior and local authorities was reported. Rescuers are also being drawn from neighboring regions. The head of the Ajaria Tornike Rizvadze region and the regional health minister Nino Nizharadze arrived at the scene. The head of the Ministry of the Interior and the prime minister of the country, Irakli Garibashvili, are also going there.
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