May 16, 2013
Cambodia Shoe Factory Accident; At Least 2 Dead
Cambodian officials say a ceiling has collapsed at a shoe factory outside of Phnom Penh, killing at least two people and trapping an unknown number of others.
Police say rescue efforts are underway at the low-rise building in Kampong Speu province. They say at least six people are injured.
Workers at the Taiwanese-owned Wing Star Shoes factory said they were on the job as usual early Thursday when the ceiling fell in on them. Police say the collapse may have occurred because too much was being stored on the floor above.
The accident comes less than a month after a building housing garment factories collapsed in Bangladesh, killing more than 1,100 workers.
That disaster has prompted a discussion about working conditions and safety standards at Asian factories, which many Western retailers rely on for cheap labor.
The Bangladesh government says it has since shut down 18 garment factories for safety reasons. It also plans to raise the minimum wage for garment workers and allow for the easier formation of labor unions.
There also have been complaints about low wages and tough conditions in Cambodian factories, leading to several recent protests and strikes by angry workers.
Garment production makes up a major part of the Cambodian economy. More than $4 billion worth of such products were shipped to the United States and Europe in 2012.