Georgian Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri on Friday claimed 32 individuals who died in Shovi landslide in western Georgia in August had been killed “instantly”, amid the allegations by the domestic opposition and the part of the public about “delayed and ineffective response” to the disaster and its consequences.
"The bodies found during the rescue operation were so badly damaged that it is impossible that the death did not occur instantly. Most of the bodies are dismembered and in fact body fragments were found by the rescuers”, he said in the Parliament.
He stressed the emergency service had been notified about the incident at 15:07, and “within a few minutes” the rescue service was on its way to the scene.
"In total, 62 reports were received, and at the first stage 175 persons were considered missing. Immediately after receiving the reports, the identification of possible missing persons began, both by direct communication with the initiators of the report, and according to the information bases of the Ministry of Internal Affairs”, he said.
The Interior Ministry helicopter arrived at the scene after three hours from receiving a notification about the incident, with the part of the public accusing the body of a delayed response, along with the allegations about the absence of early warning systems.
One individual is still missing in the disaster.