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Official blames supernatural for faintings

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Workers from Kampong Speu’s Sabrina Garment factory protest outside their workplace in 2013. Heng Chivoan

Official blames supernatural for faintings

Twenty-nine workers from Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing in Kampong Speu province fainted on Friday, with many sent to the provincial hospital. A government official claimed a spirit was behind the matter.

Provincial labour department director Cheak Borin said the fainting episode began when a woman suddenly stood up while working and began speaking in a stuttering voice and aggressively pointing at everyone. The company has between 600 and 700 people in each building, with a total of 6,000 workers.

“Everyone was very scared then the fainting began. The woman has fainted often, but this time her actions were very aggressive,” Borin said

“We went to check the video [from security cameras] . . . maybe there’s a spirit in her body."

“It has nothing to do with working conditions, or a technical problem . . . it is not that their production area or building has problems, but one woman suddenly stood up and spoke very loudly.”

He said the hospitalised workers returned to work on Saturday.

Provincial health department director Ovann Then said that workers were suffering from poor nutrition.

“They lack sugar, and they work very hard and so lack calcium too. They were released from the hospital the same day,” he said.

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