Three boys aged 10 and 11 died in a fire accident in a hotel of Kobuleti, Adjara region on May 10.
Fire in Kobuleti hotel claimed lives of three children
By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, May 12
The children were the members of a folk dance group Sikharuli 2 and were accompanied by their teachers and several parents. The group was from Rustavi and they had been preparing to hold a concert in Kobuleti, Georgia’s Black Sea resort.
Forty-eight people were inside the hotel Armazi when it went up in flames. Three children died while 32 children and 13 adults managed to get out safely with the help of police and firefighters.
According to the head of the fire rescue squad, Malkhaz Verulidze, the fire was very intense and they could hardly get on the third floor, where they found three bodies in the bathroom.
The cause of the fire is still unknown but the head of the group Gogi Margania stated that it was the fault of air conditioning unit, which was not working properly.
The owner of the hotel, Shermadin Artmeladze, excluded the failure of air conditioning system as a reason for the fire’s outbreak, and said that the teachers of the group were drinking at night and left the children unattended.
He also noted that the door of the room where the children died was locked and believes that the accident happened due to negligence of teachers.
The teachers of the group reject all accusations.
Parents of the deceased children arrived in Kobuleti later after they were notified of the tragedy. Rustavi local government members also arrived at the incident site.
The bodies of the children were taken to Vakhtang Gorgasali church in Rustavi and will stay there until their funeral.
Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili expressed his deep condolences to the families of the deceased children and stated that each family will receive assistance in an amount of 10,000 GEL from the government.
He also praised the firefighters who had "risked their own lives to rescue 45 people".
According to Rustavi City Hall all funeral expenses will be covered by them.
The investigation was launched to determine the cause of the fire incident.