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Six Killed In Georgian Mine Accident

An entrance to the Tkibuli mine before the collapse. (file photo)

Six miners were killed and three injured when the roof of a coal mine in western Georgia collapsed, the Interior Ministry says.

The ministry said in a statement that the accident occurred early on April 5 at the Mindeli mine in Tkibuli, about 200 kilometers west of the capital, Tbilisi.

The mine in the Imereti region is operated by the Georgian company Sakhnakhshiri, which said the accident was apparently caused by a shock wave triggered by a so-called rock burst -- a spontaneous fracture of rock that can occur in mines.

The office of Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said that an investigation was launched to determine whether safety norms had been breached.

Ten miners have died in different accidents at the Mindeli mine since 2011, according to Reuters news agency.

Mining accidents are common in the former Soviet Union, where mines are often poorly financed and use old equipment.

With reporting by Reuters and