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PHNOM PENH—More than 20 people were injured Monday
when a rest shelter outside a Cambodian garment factory collapsed and
fell into a pond, adding to recent worries about safety in the country's
European Pressphoto Agency
A Cambodian rescue team searched Monday for workers after a shelter at a garment factory collapsed in Phnom Penh.
The incident came just a few days after
portions of another Cambodian garment factory collapsed, killing three
people and injuring several others.
The Cambodian incidents follow several more-deadly accidents in
Bangladesh, where more than 1,000 people died in a garment building
collapse last month, and many others have died in garment-factory fires
over the past year.
Kuoch Chamreoun, a district chief of Phnom Penh, said Monday's
incident occurred at around 11:15 a.m., local time, when a concrete and
metal shelter where workers could rest and look out over a pond suddenly
tumbled into the water, taking with it several workers from the Phnom
It was unclear what caused the accident. Mr. Chamreoun said 23
workers were injured, including a pregnant woman, but there were no
fatalities. An employee of the company, Sieng Yun, 34, said the pregnant
woman was seriously injured, but that the baby was fine.
Koch Ousphea, chief administrator at the factory, said the facility
was operated by Top World Garment (Cambodia) Ltd, which is listed as a
Hong Kong company making jeans and trousers, according to the website of
the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia. "It was an incident
we couldn't expect," he said, adding the company was still
Cambodia has benefited in recent years from rising factory wages in
China, which has pushed some apparel retailers to look for cheaper
places to source their products. But as the country's garment sector has
boomed, turning into its biggest export earner, concerns about safety
Among other problems, workers have reported a series of "mass
fainting" incidents in which large numbers of workers have collapsed.
Activists believe the incidents are caused by heat, bad ventilation and
Kong Athit, secretary-general of the Cambodian Labor
Confederation, which represents garment workers, including some at Top
World, said incidents involving structural building issues such as the
last two factory accidents were "not common" in Cambodia, despite
worries about poor working conditions in the country. "The garment
industry has operated for more than 10 years in Cambodia, so the
buildings are getting old," he said, increasing the need for tighter