Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Collapsed building causes serious harm

Collapsed building causes serious harm

Collapsed building causes serious harm

Questions are being asked after an unfinished factory collapsed in Kandal province yesterday, injuring 16 construction workers, some seriously.

The construction workers were adding a roof to 10-metre high factory frame in Punhear Leu district’s Tumnub Thom commune when it crashed to the ground without warning at about 8am, officials said.

Commune chief Nou Len told the Post shoddy workmanship was to blame for the collapse of the half-finished 120 by 70 metre factory on land owned by someone called Yean Chhing.

“Sub-standard construction is the reason for it,” Len said. “There have been no winds or rain that could have contributed to it falling down.”

Eight of the workers had broken their hips, legs and hands and had been rushed to a private clinic, he added.

Last night police searched for the building’s owner and the site’s foreman, who had either not been at the site yesterday or had fled before officers arrived.

“No one knows where the owner or the foremen are,” deputy district police chief Sreng Srong said.

Chan So Kheng, deputy provincial director of construction, said an inspection of the site showed builders had not met basic construction standards.

“Normally, a building like this requires a strong foundation and thick steel, but thin steel was used,” he said. “The roof and structure are not well connected.”

District Governor Song Sivmey said he wanted whoever was responsible to pay the injured workers’ medical bills.

Yesterday’s incident follows the collapse of a new industrial building in the capital in March – days before hundreds of workers were due to set foot in it.

The Post has since reported that many construction workers operate high up without helmets or safety harnesses.

Van Thol, vice president of The Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia, said the government was careless in monitoring the construction industry.

“However, we appreciate that the local authority is urging those responsible to help the victims,” he said.

Yean Chhing could not be reached for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Khouth Sophak Chakrya at [email protected]

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