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Breached Security Norms Result in Death of Two People

22.02.2011

Gela Mtivlishvili, Kakheti

The population of the Vardisubani village in Lagodekhi district blames the JSC Kakheti Energy Distribution Company in breaching security norms. On the evening of February 20, when local people tried to mend the severed electricity wires, the electricity supply was suddenly resumed and it resulted in the death of two people. 40-year-old Nikoloz Arevadze, an electricity fitter, and Avtandil Kochiashvili, 29, died on the spot.

The people of Vardisubani said that for the whole day on February 20 they did not have electricity supply. They called the Lagodekhi district service-center of Kakheti Energy Distribution Company several times but the fitters did not arrive in the village until the evening. From morning till evening, severed electricity wires layed scattered in the motor-way without attention.

“The snow severed wires for the main electricity framework. The residents of this district called the electricity fitters. They arrived here in the evening and asked our help in mending the wire. Several men went to help them. The fitter was on the post when the electricity-supply was resumed and he burnt immediately. Two local people, who assisted the fitter, received electrical shocks; one of them died but the second survived. A similar accident has occurred in the village before,” said local resident Valeri Kharaishvili.

“We have petitioned the Kakheti Energy Distribution Company several times and requested them to repair the wires. Even a weak wind can severe the electricity wires and then we do not have electricity. Not to mention, wires of high voltage, which supply five villages with electricity, are stretched across our gardens and they are very close to our fruit-trees. We are afraid to approach them but nobody pays attention to us,” said local resident Malkhaz Tsikarishvili.

Deputy Chairman of the Lagodekhi municipal board Davit Bakashvili, confirmed information about the spoilt electricity-network in the district; though he said the local authority cannot compel the Kakheti Energy Distribution Company to improve the situation. “We have petitioned the company several times. It is not only this village that has this problem; the electricity network is out-of-order in every village. About 99% of electricity posts shall be replaced but nothing has been done to eradicate these problems,” said the deputy chairman of the municipal board.

Avtandil Kochiashvili was the only son in his family. “I had only one son and they have killed him. I blame the Energy Distribution Company for this! Where did they take my son? They do not have enough people to repair the problems! We did not have an electricity supply all day long and nobody paid attention to us. He was a young man and was worried that we did not have electricity,” said the father of the dead young man Rezo Kochiashvili.

Manager of the Lagodekhi district service-center of Kakheti Energy Distributio Besik Koberidze said they cannot make any comments about the accident until everything is investigated. “I do not know what the situation was there; who ordered them to repair the wires or who implemented works there. The commission arrived in the village; they will find out everything. The Company will take responsibility only after the investigation concludes who actually was guilty in it.”

The Lagodekhi district police department began investigating the incident under Article 240, Part III of the Criminal Code of Georgia – breaching the security norms on electricity units which resulted in the death of two or more people. The crime is punished by imprisonment of up to 6 to 10 years.

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