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At least 17 garment workers injured as ceiling collapses

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The ceiling at the Accastte Garment Co Ltd factory in Kraing Pongro commune’s Vattanac Industrial Park 2 collapses on Tuesday, injuring at least 17 workers. Photo supplied

At least 17 garment workers injured as ceiling collapses

At least 17 garment workers were injured after a factory ceiling collapsed on Tuesday in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district.

The incident occurred at Accastte Garment Co in Vattanac Industrial Park 2, in Kraing Pongro commune, at around 7am.

Toeb Bunthen, acting Kraing Pongro commune police chief, told The Post that at least 17 garment workers were hurt when the ceiling collapsed on them while they were working, with the factory immediately sending the injured for medical care. Some have been since released from the hospital.

“The injured were sent to a private hospital near the factory. I went to the hospital to monitor their condition. They were not seriously injured. They did not lose much blood."

“Some have bumps on their heads, while some were injured on their arms and legs. The workers and employers are relying on the National Social Security Fund to pay for their treatment,” he said.

Bunthen said a large fan was attached to the ceiling that collapsed, with the incident the result of the factory’s metal structure decaying.

Mok Puthea, Dangkor district administrative director, told The Post that the workers were not badly injured in the accident, with some already at home after being discharged.

“The factory did not allow us inside, but I received a report from the police that the injured were getting better. I don’t know the exact details of the collapse. You will need to wait for the police report first,” he said.

Phnom Penh Labour and Vocational Training Department director Chuon Vuthy told The Post on Tuesday that his team was “inspecting the area” and “on the matter now”.

‘Review bulding standards’

Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina said despite this latest accident, conditions in Cambodia’s factories were steadily improving.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A vehicle transports workers of garment factory on National Road 7. Hong Menea

He said there were fewer incidents of the air being polluted by chemicals leading to faintings, while other health-related problems in the workplace were also down.

However, factories should be inspected to check their condition, safety, and building standards, he said.

“I think officials should review building standards and monitor other companies, to prevent further ceiling collapses or similar accidents."

“In the past, when I met with officials, some claimed that most factory buildings were not inspected properly according to legal procedures. Don’t wait until things go wrong before reviewing the safety of factory ,” he said.

Dangkor district governor Nuth Puthdara declined to comment, saying he was not yet aware of the details of the incident, while Chim Sitha, the Dangkor district police chief, could not be reached.

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