KAMPONG SPEU – Part of a shoe factory collapsed on Thursday in Cambodia, killing at least three workers, and adding to concerns about industrial safety after last month's disaster in Bangladesh.
The concrete roof of the Wing Star Shoes factory collapsed on Thursday morning, in the Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Phnom Penh. The accident happened at around 7 a.m. local time while 100 employees were working, union member Sum Sokny told AFP.
Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, said this incident would raise the country's workers concerns about industrial safety.
"Garment factories in Cambodia do not meet international safety standard because the quality of the buildings are not ensured and people have been working with a high risk of danger," he told AFP.
At a press conference on Thursday morning, Ith Sam Heng, Minister of Social Affairs, pledged that the government would compensate the victims and that the incident was the first of its kind in Cambodia, the Phnom Penh Post reports.
The garment industry is Cambodia's biggest employer and export earner, the BBC notes.
The accident comes three weeks after a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, killing 1,127 people in what is now the worst ever industrial accident to hit that country. These safety concerns are also bringing attention to the ethics of Western brands having their products made in these factories.
A Reuters reporter saw shoes bearing the name "Asics" scattered around the damaged warehouse, where a bulldozer was clearing away rubble. The Japanese sportswear brand has not commented yet.