People brought dolls, flowers and candles to the site where an apartment building collapsed in Batumi, Georgia, killing nine people. (IPN.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is mourning the victims of the collapse of a 7-storey building  in Batumi, while investigators are working to identify the causes of the tragedy, which killed nine people, including three children.

People bring dolls, flowers and candles to the rubble of the collapsed apartment building.

Out of the 9 people who were killed in the collapse, four were members of a single family. 

“9 died and 2 survived. Among the dead are 3 minors – 12, seven and three year old,” said Minister of Internal Affairs Vakhtang Gomelauri.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) stated that the collapse was caused by construction work carried out at the behest of the owner of the apartment on the ground floor. 

“The investigation is underway,” Gomelauri said.

Prosecutors have charged three people with violating safety rules during construction work that resulted in deaths and severe consequences.

Police have detained the owner of an apartment on the ground floor where refurbishment work was going on.

Two construction workers hired by the owner were also detained.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the collapse was caused by demolition of “non-load-bearing as well as load-bearing structures (walls)”.

There have been a number of accidents in recent years in Georgia involving structural failure of buildings. A fatal hotel fire in Kobuleti in 2015 raised questions about building safety standards.