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Dozens collapse at factory

Nearly 50 workers, including a woman who is seven months pregnant, fainted at a clothing factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district yesterday due to poor ventilation, union officials and labour-rights groups said.

The 47 employees at Wanshen Clothing (Cambodia) Co collapsed at about 3pm, said Thol Norn, president of Cambodia Federation Labor Movement. They were treated at three local private hospitals.

“The collapses occurred when fans stopped working,” Norn said.

Company officials were aware of the ventilation problem when two women initially fainted, but took no steps to protect workers, said Chhorn Sokha, a workers’ rights program officer at Community Legal Education Center.

“They should have told [workers] to leave the building so that they could check the surrounding environment,” Sokha said.

After the faintings, workers were allowed to go home and return today, said Pok Vanthat, director of the labour health department at the Ministry of Labour.

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