Four more deaths in building collapse
By Salome Modebadze
Monday, January 11Four men died during the collapse of the Georgian Civil Registry Office building at 3 Gulua Street on January 8. A section of the nine-storey building fell for unknown reasons, killing workmen trapped inside at the time. Rescue teams searched for them for a long time but unfortunately their bodies were eventually pulled out of the debris.
The fire brigade and ambulance service attended the scene immediately. Witnesses said that the workmen had been doing some cleaning on the fifth floor of the building. The Civil Registry Office states that they were simply dusting the building, not dismantling it.
The workmen, employed by Alizi Ltd., were preparing the building for further repairs. Law enforcers have visited the central office of Alizi to clarify details and check their documentation. Bichiko Titvinidze, Director of the company, and the supervisor of the workmen have been questioned. An investigation has been begun and the reason for the collapse of the building will be known in a couple of days. Rescuers, police and forensic experts are still working at the site.
The collapsed building was once the central office of the Georgian National Guard. It has been taken over by the Ministry of Justice and several workers were conducting an extensive renovation of the building when the accident occurred. According to information released by the authorities, searching and clearing began from the very moment the building collapsed.
“The clearing has been thoroughly done. About 400 tonnes of reinforced concrete have been taken away. It’s now up to the firm responsible to ensure further security at the spot,” Temur Giorgadze, Head of the Tbilisi Emergency Situations Service, told the media. “The rescue teams were working all day and night to clear the territory of debris. Teams were also working hard to find the lost workman. We have seen a terrible tragedy here. I would like to express my condolences to the families of the four men,” said Temur Grigalashvili, civic head of the Isani-Samgori region.