One garment worker died and a dozen others were injured when a five-tonne truck veered into their minibus on National Road 2 in Takeo province’s Bati district on Saturday.
Chhorn Treoun, deputy district police chief in charge of traffic, said yesterday that the accident happened at about 5pm when the workers were travelling home from their factory.
“The minibus, which was carrying fewer than 20 workers, was struck by a truck coming from the opposite direction that had veered into the wrong lane,” he said. “It hit the front of the minibus and seriously injured the driver, killed one worker and injured more than 10 others.”
Mr Treoun said one worker died at the scene while the minibus driver had both his legs broken and 12 workers were lightly and seriously injured.
“We arrested the driver of the five-tonne truck who caused the accident and sent him to the district police station for questioning,” he said.
Soun Vannak, director of the National Social Security Fund for Takeo province, said the NSSF cooperated with the factory and the police to immediately send the injured workers to the Bati district referral hospital.
“The accident was caused by the driver of the five-tonne truck who drove onto the other side of the road and crashed into the minibus loaded with workers, killing one and injuring 12,” he said.
According to an annual report released last week 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.
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.
Last week, one garment worker was killed and nearly 50 others were injured in Kampong Speu province’s Oudong district when the truck ferrying them to work hit a wheel that had detached from another truck.
Two weeks ago, 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.