Court sentences two to criminal negligence in deadly residential building gas explosion

Explosion occurred on January 16, 2019. Photo: IPN, 15 Oct 2019 - 18:45, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former employees of gas company Tbilisi Energy Tornike Tatishvili and Vazir Mamadiani have been sentenced to four years in prison by Tbilisi City Court for criminal negligence resulting in death.

On January 16, 2019, Mamadiani and Tatishvili responded to a complaint of residents living in an apartment building on Avtandili Street in Didi Digomi, who said they had smelled gas the entire day. 

The two left, telling residents that what they smelled was paint. 

Hours later, a deadly explosion took place, killing four people, including a four-year-old child. 

Tornike Tatishvili and Vazir Mamadian were arrested on January 18.

Tatishvili and Mamediani deny the charges against them: they claim that the building was inspected in accordance with protocol. 

In 2016-2018, 86 people died in explosions and intoxication caused by natural gas leaks and 285 were poisoned in Tbilisi, Tbilisi Energy reports.