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Miners leave the Mindeli coal mine after their shift in Tkibuli, Georgia, July 13, 2018. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili


TBILISI (Reuters) - Four miners were killed and six injured on Monday when the roof of a coal mine in western Georgia collapsed, the country's interior ministry said.

The accident occurred at the Mindeli mine in Tkibuli, 200 kilometres (124 miles) west of the capital, Tbilisi, the ministry said in a statement.

It added that the accident had been caused by a pressure bump - an explosion caused by thermal pressure. Four men were transferred to a hospital.

The government will close the mine until an investigation is complete and it gets the conclusions of international experts.

Sixteen miners have died at the mine in different accidents since 2011. The last similar accident occurred in April this year, when six miners were killed and three were injured.

"The state can't allow putting lives and health of its own citizens under threat and therefore we had decided to close the mine," the government said in a statement.

The mine is operated by Saknakhshiri, a Georgian company.

(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; editing by Larry King)

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