Spirit Blamed for Fainting at Factory
Nearly 80 workers at the Wing Star Shoes factory in Kampong Speu province fainted again yesterday morning after more than 100 fainted on Wednesday, with workers claiming it was the result of a spirit.
Factory employee Norn Sophea told Khmer Times yesterday that the workers started fainting and feeling dizzy when their shift began at about 7:15am and were subsequently sent to hospital.
“The factory invited four monks to bless the factory to bring good luck and chase the bad spirit away, but the workers fainted before the monks arrived,” the 28-year-old said.
Ms. Sophea said the factory would invite the monks to make a blessing again before the workers arrive for work today.
She claimed the workers fainted because a ghost spirit had possessed one of the workers, shocking others who proceeded to faint one after another.
“I believe a ghost spirit caused the workers to faint because it did not smell like the chemicals used for killing insects and there was sufficient air in the factory,” she said.
“There is the smell of glue, but it is familiar to us because we smell it every day without any problems.”
According to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), a total of 139 workers at the factory fainted on Wednesday because of poor health.
Ms. Sophea said the workers who did not faint were allowed to go home, while the workers who fainted will be expected back at work on Monday to allow sufficient time for recovery.
“I helped send the workers who are not well to hospital and they told me they are dizzy and very tired,” she said.
Ms. Sophea said the ghost spirit came into the workers’ body like it had in previous years, which she suggested was the spirit from one of three workers killed when a mezzanine at the factory collapsed in May 2013.
A Wing Star Shoes factory official declined to comment yesterday.
Nearly 2,000 workers from 32 garment factories across the country have fainted since 2015, with similar numbers recorded for 2014.
According to an NSSF report, eight traffic accidents involving garment workers from October 1 until Wednesday caused 282 injuries – 81 seriously – in Phnom Penh as well as Kandal, Preah Sihanouk, Svay Rieng, Takeo and Kampong Chhnang provinces.
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