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Cambodia: Garment Factory Floor Collapse Injures 4

Four garment workers were injured Tuesday when the ground floor of a Chinese-owned factory in the Bati district of Cambodia partially collapsed into a water storage unit below.

According to The Phnom Penh Post, a floor in the Nishiku Enterprise factory fell through causing minor injuries to the workers. The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.

Nam Sorporn, Bati district deputy police chief said the accident could be owed to faulty building construction.

“The floor has collapsed in some parts while the workers were working, but it has not fully [collapsed into the water] because a net underneath firmly supported it. However, we can still initially conclude that it was caused by construction not in accordance with technical standards, or it could also have been caused by overloading,” Sorporn told The Phnom Penh Post.

Reports are conflicting about whether all workers were accounted for, but the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) has said that 100 workers are missing.

Conditions in Cambodia have been a concern to both workers and stakeholders, and the country’s garment sector has been in turmoil as workers protest for better conditions and wages.

Despite the ongoing unrest, however, Cambodia’s garment and footwear exports are still showing signs of growth. Cambodia exported $3.92 billion worth of garment and footwear product, up 7 percent year-on-year, according to the country’s Ministry of Commerce. But the latest figures reflect a slowdown as export earnings were up 16 percent in the first half of the year, and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has warned that the industry could experience a dramatic decline since the continuous unrest has led brands to take business elsewhere.