Tbilisi, Apr 5 (AFP) Six miners died and three more were injured today when the roof of a mine collapsed in western Georgia, officials said.

The accident happened at the Mindeli mine in the western city of Tqibuli early Thursday, the office of Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said in a statement.

“Six people died in the accident and three other miners were injured,” the statement said.

The government blamed so-called “rock burst” — a spontaneous, violent fracture of rock that can occur in mines — for the accident, adding that an investigation had been launched to determine whether safety norms had been breached.

According to Georgia’s interior ministry, more than 350 people were killed and more than 900 more injured in occupational accidents in the former Soviet republic between 2010 and 2017.

Mining accidents are common in the former Soviet Union, where many mines are poorly financed and use outdated equipment.(AFP) AMS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.