KAMPONG SPEU: A ceiling collapse at a shoe factory in Cambodia on Thursday killed two workers, police said, fuelling concern about workplace safety after last month’s industrial disaster in Bangladesh.
Local rescue teams, helped by soldiers, scrambled to search through the rubble of the fallen structure, which appeared to have been on a mezzanine level laden with crates of trainers and canvas shoes.
Khem Pannara, district police chief for the area in the southern province of Kampong Speu, said at least 11 people had been injured in the collapse, some seriously, adding that the rescue operation had ended.
“Two workers—a man and a woman—were killed,” he said.
The concrete ceiling had been used to store equipment and materials and had likely collapsed because it could not hold the weight due to “poor construction,” he added.
Last month a nine-story factory complex outside Dhaka collapsed, killing 1,127 people in one of the world’s worst industrial disasters. The tragedy put pressure on Western retailers that rely on cheap labour in the region, where safety standards are often inadequate.
Say Sokny of Cambodia’s Free Trade Union, a national body for garment and other industrial workers, said the factory—“ Wing Star Shoes”—is Taiwanese-owned and produces shoes for Japanese sports brand ASICS.
National police spokesman Kirt Chantharith said that the factory owner was being questioned to find out whether there was a permit for the construction and how the factory—in Angsokun village, 50 kilometers south of Phnom Penh—was built.