5 people killed as residential building collapses in Georgia
Efforts ongoing to rescue 3 more people, says interior minister
BATUMI, Georgia / ANKARA, TurkeyAt least five bodies were found on Saturday among the wreckage of a building collapse in Georgia, according to authorities.
"Firefighters rescued two citizens who were taken to the hospital, and pulled five bodies out of the rubble," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
A search and rescue mission was initiated after a seven-story residential building collapsed in the Black Sea city of Batumi on Friday.
Investigation into the incident is underway, the ministry also said.
"As for the children, we have the information that 2 or 3 children are caught under the debris as neighbors tell us, but nothing can be confirmed yet," the ministry earlier said.
Efforts are ongoing to rescue three more people, according to Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri.
Zaur Budatov, the owner of the apartment on the first floor, and two workers were detained for starting illegal house renovations, according to the Interior Ministry.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that Georgia will observe a day of national mourning on Oct. 11 due to the incident.
"I express my deep sorrow over the tragedy in Batumi and my condolences to the families and relatives of the victims. Together with them, the whole of Georgia mourns this horrible tragedy," he said on Facebook. Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.