Cambodia factory accident injures 23

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 May, 2013, 8:35pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 May, 2013, 9:12pm

At least 23 workers were injured at a Cambodian factory that produced garments for a top Western brand on Monday, police said, the latest incident to raise concerns about industrial safety in the region.

A concrete and metal shelter, where workers were resting during their lunch break, fell down in the compound of the Hong Kong Chinese-owned Top World factory located in Phnom Penh, said local police chief Hy Narin.

“The shelter is old and it collapsed into the lake while the workers were having lunch there,” he said.

“No one died but 23 workers were injured,” Hy Narin said, adding that the workers were rushed to hospital for treatment.

The factory produces clothes for Swedish fashion giant H&M, according to Ath Thun, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation.

“With this latest incident, we are worried about the safety of the garment workers,” he said.

It was not immediately clear what triggered the collapse of the shelter. Authorities and rescuers were seen searching the site to ensure nobody was trapped underneath, according witnesses.

The latest incident happened just days after a ceiling Taiwanese-owned shoe factory in Cambodia collapsed on Thursday, killing two workers.

The accidents have added to concerns about safety in Asia’s garment industry after a factory collapse last month in Bangladesh that killed 1,127 people in one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.

Cambodia earned US$4.6 billion from its garment exports last year but a series of strikes has highlighted discontent at low wages and tough conditions.