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Garment worker dies in crash, 46 others injured

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
The garment worker truck overturned after hitting the wheel of a dump truck. Fresh News

One garment worker died and nearly 50 others were injured yesterday when the truck ferrying them to work hit a wheel that had detached from a dump truck in Kampong Speu province.

The accident took place at about 6am in Kampong Speu province’s Oudong district along National Road 51, according to the Labour Ministry.

The ministry said the garment worker truck was unable to avoid a wheel that had fallen off a dump truck positioned ahead of it on the national road.

The ministry said that 60 workers were in the truck, and that one worker died and 46 others suffered injuries when it overturned. Of the 46 injured, six were seriously injured.

Path Song, chief of the provincial labour department, said yesterday that the driver of the garment worker truck was speeding and could not avoid the loose dump truck wheel, leading to his truck overturning and tossing workers from its bed.

“The driver had run away from the scene by the time we arrived to help the victims,” Mr Song said.

Mr Song said the workers were from Kandal and Kampong Speu provinces and were on their way to work at a factory in Kandal province.

Police and National Social Security Fund officials sent the injured workers to hospital, identifying the dead worker as Rum Sokkoeun, 22, who died at the scene.

The Labour Ministry and the NSSF will be aiding the injured workers and the family of the deceased financially.

According to an annual report released yesterday by the NSSF, 2017 saw a 56 percent decrease in traffic accidents involving garment workers compared with 2016.

There were 3,330 traffic accidents in 2017, compared with 7,592 cases in 2016, the report said.

“The traffic accidents in 2017 caused 68 workers to die, 683 to get seriously injured and another 4,102 to suffer light injuries,” the report said.

Last week, more than 60 garment workers suffered serious and slight injuries in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nob district when the trucks carrying them crashed.

The trucks they were travelling in to their factories crashed on National Road 4 because a truck loaded with ice tried to overtake the four garment trucks carrying 120 workers and ended up hitting them, leading to a domino effect and multiple crashes.

Minister of Labour Ith Samheng said last month that a national policy to encourage employers and drivers to prioritise road safety was needed to further reduce garment worker traffic crashes.

The policy would aim to improve roads and infrastructure, increase vehicle safety, boost management oversight, and change the behaviours of garment worker drivers.

Far Saly, president of the National Trade Unions Coalition, said yesterday that traffic accidents remained a serious safety concern for garment workers, who travel to work in the back of flatbed trucks.

Mr Saly said drivers were still not respecting traffic laws and the government needed to do more to improve safety for the thousands of workers travelling to factories every day.

“The government has to give more attention to this issue,” he said.

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