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Reason for garment worker’s death still unknown

Reason for garment worker’s death still unknown

Government officials gave conflicting accounts yesterday on the status of the investigation into the death of a garment worker on the job last week, leaving the circumstances of the teenage worker’s death unclear as the factory readies to reopen its doors today.

On Thursday, 19-year-old Vorn Srey Neang, who worked at the R Sambath Trading factory in Prey Veng province, fainted on the job and later died in hospital. Police said she had experienced headaches, vomiting and difficulties breathing.

More than a dozen of her colleagues fainted upon hearing the news, prompting authorities to shut down the factory until its reopening today.

Cheav Bunrith, a spokesman for the Ministry of Labour’s National Social Security Fund, said officials found the factory’s conditions to be satisfactory, although an investigation into whether the death was caused by the workplace or unrelated health problems was ongoing.

However, Pol Lari, a technical officer at the NSSF’s Prey Veng branch, said the investigation was already finished.

“I can conclude on her case, but cannot tell the result yet because I am not yet allowed to officially release it,” he said.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union called for a thorough investigation into the incident.

“The government and relevant ministries have to check every factory for its water, electricity, pollution and alarm systems to protect the workers.”

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