Two garment workers died and another 31 were injured in a traffic accident in Svay Rieng province’s Svay Teab district yesterday.
The Labour Ministry said that the accident occurred at about 7am when the workers were on their way to work and the truck they were travelling in overturned.
“There were 33 workers in the truck and when the truck overturned, all the workers were injured and two of them died on the way to hospital,” a ministry statement said.
It added that local authorities and provincial National Social Security Fund officials went to the scene of the accident to help the workers and send them to hospital.
The two workers who died were identified as Rorn Sreyoun and Kong Chanthy, who worked with You Li International factory.
Fifteen workers received treatment in Chi Pou referral hospital and another 16 workers who were seriously injured will receive further treatment at the provincial hospital.
“The ministry sends its condolences to the families of the workers who died,” it said, adding that the ministry will continue to help the workers and their families through social security funds.
An injured worker, who is currently receiving treatment in the provincial hospital and refused to be named, yesterday said the truck overturned when the driver tried to avoid a motorcyclist, noting that some of the workers jumped out of the truck as it was falling over.
“The driver was so careless and he did not think about our lives. He was driving very fast at the time,” she said. “He is an assistant to the truck driver and today he was driving. If I had known in advance that he was driving, I would not have gotten in the truck.”
She added that all the workers in the truck had asked him to slow down but he did not listen.
“I am lucky that I did not get seriously injured or suffered life-changing injuries,” she added.
Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movements of Workers, yesterday urged stakeholders to find new mechanisms besides the law to prevent traffic accidents from happening.
“I was really shocked to hear of this accident because two workers died and many other workers were injured,” Mr Sina said. “We should not just sit down and let accidents continue to happen to workers.”
An NSSF report issued last week noted that 766 traffic accidents occurred from January until June this year, leading to the deaths of 24 workers and injuring 944 others, 159 of whom were seriously injured.
“The type of accidents consisted of 20 cases involving trucks, 705 involving motorcycles, six tuk-tuk vehicle accidents, six accidents involving bicycles and 29 pedestrians,” the report said.
In the same period last year, there were 815 accidents involving garment workers, and 16 workers died and 882 others were injured.