More than 100 workers collapsed at the Anful Garments Factory in Kampong Speu yesterday after the cloth they were working with was sprayed with insecticide on Sunday, a senior provincial health official said.
Or Vanthen, director of the Kampong Speu provincial health department, said 144 workers from the factory in Samrong Tong district’s Sambo commune were hospitalised but were not in danger and would be given a day off to rest.
“Those workers were not in serious condition. They were just having difficulty breathing and dizziness. Chemical substance was sprayed on the cloth to protect it from being destroyed by insects,” he said.
The workers were now recovering at the Kampong Speu and Kandal provincial hospitals, he added.
A 43-year-old garment worker, who asked not to be named, said that the workers had become dizzy and sustained headaches before they began dropping, one after another.
“I saw them fainting with my own eyes, and I walked them to the ambulances,” she said.
Unsubstantiated reports that two workers had died during the incident could not be confirmed by the Post yesterday.
District police chief, Khuth Sophal, said he asked his officers to investigate the claims but they had turned up nothing to support them.
Chea Mony, president of Cambodia’s Free Trade Union, claimed yesterday that more than 1,000 workers had collapsed after the company refused to let 20 employees leave who had collapsed at about 8 am in the morning.
But Ken Loo, secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia said the claim was totally implausible, pointing to the fact that the company does not even employee that many people.
A total of 350 workers are currently employed at Anful Garment Factory according to GMAC’s website.
A reliable source that wished to remain anonymous told the Post yesterday that Anful Garment Factory is a supplier to the Swiss clothing label H&M.
H&M did not reply by press time yesterday.