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Blasts result in penalties

Workers survey the damage at a garment factory in Phnom Penh where a boiler explosion killed two on Saturday.
Workers survey the damage at a garment factory in Phnom Penh where a boiler explosion killed two on Saturday. Hong Menea

Blasts result in penalties

Two Phnom Penh garment factories where boiler explosions resulted in deaths in the past weeks will be penalised, the Ministry of Labour said yesterday, although criminal charges have yet to be pursued.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said for the case of the unregistered Meanchey district Chan Seng Heng factory, where a boiler explosion killed two and injured four others on Saturday, penalties are being filed, while criminal charges are being considered.

“The labour inspector is issuing the penalty against the employer according to the labour law” he said, adding that other institutions such as the police and Ministry of Industry may pursue criminal charges.

While Article 46 of the Law on Industry and Handicrafts stipulates that accidents causing death must be sent to court, Ministry of Industry and Handicraft spokesman Oum Sotha noted that “so far we have never brought any cases to the court; we just give warnings or penalties”.

“It’s the [court] prosecutor who decides . . . it has nothing to do with us,” he said.

Deputy police chief of Meanchey district Hur Meng Varng, meanwhile, who had previously said the owners should not be held criminally liable, yesterday said that the boiler technician had yet to be arrested.

Meanwhile, for Levi Strauss & Co and C&A brand supplier Zhen Tai, where a boiler explosion killed one and injured seven others three weeks ago, Labour Ministry spokesman Sour said that the ministry has already issued instructions and issued a penalty according to the labour law while the criminal case was filed by the police to the court.

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