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Power cut sparks mass fainting

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:

More than 20 workers at the New Focus Apparel garment factory in Kandal province fainted in panic when the electricity went off and an alarm sounded over the weekend.

Cheav Bunrith, spokesman for the National Social Security Fund, said the incident happened at about 8.50am on Saturday in the Ang Snuol district factory. One report said 25 out of the factory’s 600 workers were affected.

“The cause of the fainting was that the power was cut off. The factory started its generator. But the low level of electricity made the lights turn off,” Mr Bunrith said. “The alarm went off, causing the workers to panic and faint.”

Affected workers were sent for checkups and treatment at Sokha Bek Chan Clinic and Referral Hospital in Ang Snuol district, he said.

The factory also gave them a day off to rest. The NSSF will meet all the expenses of transporting victims, medical examinations and treatment until they recover, Mr Bunrith noted.

No factory representative could be reached for comment yesterday.

However, Bek Chan commune police chief Pin Ratanak said 33 workers were affected. Some had breathing difficulties due to the lack of ventilation.

“They just fainted, and it was not serious,” he said. “They are now getting better and have already returned home.”

Police said it was the first time that the factory had a large-scale fainting incident.

On May 28, more than 100 workers at the Starite bag factory in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district fainted because of the smell of welding and metal spraying at a nearby factory.

The number of garment workers who fainted in 2017 increased 38 percent compared with 2016. A total of 1,603 workers fainted in 2017, of whom 1,599 were women, according to an NSSF report.

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