News

Georgian mine claims 13th victim

by | Nov 26, 2011

TBILISI, DFWatch – A miner died Thursday morning following an accident in a coal mine in Tkibuli in the central region of Georgia.

Miner Sergi Ashotia died after a wall collapsed. This is the 13th death in the same mine in the last two years.

Early comments indicate that the reason for the accident was a massive mine concussion, but the official reasons will only be clear after an official investigation has been carried out.

“Massive concussion, massive concussion – they keep saying the same things. It’s very difficult to determine if a concussion’s really happened. How can it happen so often? It’s just a convenient reason to give,” – Viktor Dolidze, chief technical inspector of Georgian Trade Union, says.

Sergi Ashotia was a very experienced miner, according to the Trade Union spokesman.

“The whole brigade shift that night was very experienced. Sergi was seriously injured in the accident which happened on August 27, 2010. He was badly burned,” Tamaz Dolaberidze, leader of the Metallurgical and Mining Industry Workers’ Trade Union says.

According to him, a representative from the Trade Unions will sit in the commission studying the case, which, he thinks is a better way to investigate the objective reason for the accident.

Like Viktor Dolidze, Dolaberidze doesn’t believe the accident was caused by massive concussions.

“If you’re looking for the real reason, it’s the result of a concerted effort of Kakha Bendukidze, Zura Japaridze and all the others who worked on the Georgian Labor code and changed it. This is the result of what has this new labor code has led to,” he says.

The Georgian Labor code was amended by the government to fit the employers and give them more rights than employees. The government explains it by saying it’s very important to attract more investors to the country and the new labor code contributes to that.

As DFWatch reported earlier, there has recently been an accident in the Tkibuli mine, the reason of which was also given by the mining company as massive concussions. Two mine-workers died in that incident. The investigation is not completed. But according to Dolaberidze, this case is more or less clear, because there were more witnesses and the workers say they heard concussion sounds.

“But we still don’t know for sure. Seismological centers haven’t confirmed yet that there really were vibrations at the place.”

On August 27, 2010 four mine-workers had died in an explosion in the Tkibuli mine, which belongs to Saknakhshiri, a subsidiary of Georgian Industrial Group (GIG). Six workers were badly injured.

 



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