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Ear to the Ground

Factory Collapse Kills Two Workers in Cambodia

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Posted on May 17, 2013
BBC

Footage of rescue workers picking through the rubble after a cave-in at a factory in Kampong Speu province in Cambodia.

Two people are dead after part of the concrete roof of a factory that manufactures Asics shoes in Cambodia collapsed on workers, officials say. Police say at least six people were injured.

Occurring weeks after the collapse of an eight-story garment factory in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 people, this tragedy is a grim and infuriating reminder that workers worldwide are routinely forced by negligent and uncaring bosses to toil for little reward in unnecessarily dangerous conditions. There is no indication in the BBC’s report of the collapse that anyone at Wing Star Shoes, the Taiwanese company that owns the factory, would be investigated and held responsible.

More than half a million Cambodians are employed in the garment industry, which makes clothes for U.S. and European markets as the country’s biggest employer and export earner. The minimum wage currently stands at $61 to $75 per month.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

BBC:

Minister of Social Affairs Ith Sam Heng was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying that no one else remained trapped inside the building.

One report said the weight of equipment stored on the roof caused the collapse.

“We were working normally and suddenly several pieces of brick and iron started falling on us,” injured 25-year-old Kong Thary was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

The shoe factory is owned by a Taiwanese company Wing Star Shoes, which makes trainers for Japanese sports brand Asics, reports say.

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