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Building collapse in Georgia kills eight


At least eight people, including two children, are now 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.

At least one man was still believed to be trapped under the rubble after the building collapsed on Friday.

Two people were rescued and a 36-year-old man with serious injuries was taken to 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 house and two construction workers have reportedly been arrested on suspicion of safety code violations.

The five-storey building 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.



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