Georgia building collapse death toll rises

·1-min read

At least nine people, including two children, are known to have died when a multi-storey building collapsed in the city of Batumi, on Georgia's Black Sea coast, the Interior Ministry has said.

One man was pulled from the rubble on Saturday, a day after the collapse. He is reported to be seriously injured and has been placed on a respirator in hospital.

Home Affairs Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri did not rule out the possibility that a retaining wall at the house collapsed during renovation work.

The owner of the ground floor flat and two construction workers have reportedly been arrested on suspicion of safety code violations.

The five-storey building in the country's second largest city dates back to 1981, although two additional storeys were subsequently added to the building along with a lift.

Images of the site on Georgian TV showed a huge mound of rubble and rescue teams searching for survivors, initially using their bare hands before professional equipment reached the site.

Some 300 people joined the search, as calls for help could be heard coming from the rubble.

Rescue workers managed to contact two survivors trapped inside the ruins by mobile phone on Friday, Gomelauri said on Saturday.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced a national day of mourning to be held on Monday.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting