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More workers faint at factory

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Workers from Zhen Tai Garment (Cambodia) Co recover at a hospital after fainting on Thursday.

About 50 factory workers fainted on Friday at the Zhen Tai Garment (Cambodia) Co  Ltd factory on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the day after  a group of workers fainted at the facility.

On Thursday, roughly 30 workers fainted and about 2,000 fled the factory after sparks started flying from a generator and a fire alarm went off.

The cause of Friday’s fainting remains unclear. However, a manager at the factory downplayed the faintings yesterday, claiming that the incidents were caused by panic among the workers.

“Workers fainted because they panicked. When one worker fainted, it caused others to faint,” Zhen Tai chief of administration Kea Cheakea said.

Workers complained yesterday of foul-smelling chemicals at the factory before they fainted on Friday.

“There was a bad smell and then I fainted,” factory worker Sok Ya said.  “I had no power, I felt very weak.”

A Free Trade Union official who investigated the incident said yesterday that workers had told him the fainting was caused by unhealthy chemicals.

“When I went to the factory, the workers claimed that they fainted because of the bad smell from the chemical sprays used to make the clothes insect-repellant,” said Free Trade Union officer Vann Seangly.

The factory plans to reopen today after closing for the weekend. Kea Cheakea said that a 30-minute staff meeting would be held to discuss safety issues and urged workers not to panic if they see other people fainting.

He declined to comment on the companies for which the factory produces clothing.

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