Georgia mourns Tbilisi gas explosion victims

Georgia mourns Tbilisi gas explosion victims

Georgia holds a nation-wide day of mourning after the gas explosion in a residential building last night in Tbilisi’s Didi Digomi district. Flags on all government buildings across Georgia and diplomatic missions abroad are flying at half staff today.

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze announced the government is mourning the tragedy alongside its citizens.

The blast took place on the sixth floor of a newly-built nine-storey residential building. Four people died last night in the blast, including a four-year-old child. Eight others – six minors and two adults – were injured in the explosion.

Two patients who were transferred to Ghudushauri Clinic after the explosion in Didi Dighomi yesterday have already been discharged. have been discharged, having sustained only minor injuries. 

Meanwhile, Iashvili Clinic's medical director Ivane Chkhaidze said that only one patient remains at the clinic in the critical care department – he said that the patient's condition is stable, Agenda.ge reported.

According to the Tbilisi City Hall, all who have been affected by the blast have been provided with food and shelter. So far, 37 people have been given temporary accommodations. 

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has launched an investigation into the explosion. The ministry says that it is looking into a violation of safety regulations during the installation, design and construction or operation of electric, thermal energy, gas or oil product facilities resulting in the death of two or more persons. 

Georgia's Energy Ombudsman Salome Vardiashvili has begun studying the case of yesterday’s explosion and demanded an explanation from KazTransGas Tbilisi.

"The procedure of connecting the residential building to the natural gas network will be thoroughly studied," the Energy Ombudsman said.

"The Energy Ombudsman's interest is also in why the technician could not find a point of leakage. It is likely that negligence or unprofessionalism of the employee is evident," the statement says.

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