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False alarm triggers mass fainting

Nineteen garment workers passed out at a Phnom Penh factory yesterday after an alarm went off. Cheav Bunrith, spokesman for the National Social Security Fund, said the workers at the South Land (Cambodia) factory in Por Sen Chey district “panicked and fainted” following the false fire alarm.

Thean Srey Nuth, an employee who did not faint, said that the incident occurred just as the workers began work.

“When they heard the alarm, they were afraid and ran. Some fell to the ground,” she said. The workers’ hospital fees will be paid for by the NSSF, said Bunrith, as the factory is a member of the labour welfare collective.

He added that South Land’s management, who could not be reached for comment, were told that they ought to improve ventilation to prevent recurrences.

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