News / Asia

    Roof Collapse at Cambodian Shoe Plant Kills 3

    Rescue workers and soldiers search through a site of the accident in a shoe factory in the Kong Pisei district of Kampong Speu province, 50 km (30 miles) west of the capital, Phnom Penh, May 16, 2013.
    Rescue workers and soldiers search through a site of the accident in a shoe factory in the Kong Pisei district of Kampong Speu province, 50 km (30 miles) west of the capital, Phnom Penh, May 16, 2013.
    Reuters
    Three people were killed when the ceiling of a warehouse fell in at a shoe factory in Cambodia, a government minister said on Thursday, adding to concern about safety standards at Asian factories producing clothes cheaply for Western consumers.
     
    Cambodia has seen a rush of investment in recent years, especially into the shoe and garment sector, with Western and Asian firms attracted by its low-cost labor. The International Monetary Fund says garments account for about 80 percent of the Southeast Asian country's exports.
     
    Ith Sam Heng, minister of social affairs, told Reuters another six people had been injured in the incident at the plant in the Kong Pisei district of Kampong Speu province, 50 km (30 miles) west of the capital, Phnom Penh.
     
    “We will investigate the case and we will take measures against those involved,” he said, meaning anyone who might be held responsible for poor safety standards.
     
    • Cambodian rescuers work at the site of a factory collapse in Kai Ruong village, south of Phnom Penh, May 16, 2013.
    • Rescue workers and soldiers search through a site of the accident in a shoe factory in Phnom Penh, May 16, 2013.
    • Rescue workers and soldiers search through a site of the accident in a shoe factory in Phnom Penh, May 16, 2013.
    • Ambulances park as they wait to transfer injured workers, at the site of a factory collapse in Cambodia, May 16, 2013.
    • Rescue workers and soldiers search through a site of the accident in a shoe factory in Phnom Penh, May 16, 2013.
    • Parts of shoes are seen at the site of the accident in a shoe factory in Phnom Penh, May 16, 2013.
    • Rescue workers and soldiers search through a site of the accident in a shoe factory in Phnom Penh, May 16, 2013.

    He said no one remained trapped inside the building.
     
    Earlier, a trade union member at the factory had said six people had died in the collapse, which happened at around 7 a.m.
     
    The shoe factory, owned by Wing Star Shoes Co Ltd, a Taiwan company, employed about 7,000 people but only about 100 worked in the single-story warehouse, according to staff.
     
    Work at the plant stopped after the accident.
     
    A Reuters reporter saw footwear bearing the name “Asics” scattered around the damaged warehouse, where a bulldozer was clearing away rubble.
     
    A spokeswoman for Japanese sportswear maker Asics Corp said the factory made running shoes for it. “Our prayers go out to the families of those who have died,” she said.
     
    Asics relies on sports shoes for about two-thirds of its sales, which amounted to 57.33 billion yen ($560 million) company-wide in the year to March 31, 2013.
     
    Poor Conditions
     
    A series of deadly incidents at factories in Bangladesh, the world's biggest exporter of clothing after China, has focused global attention on safety standards in the booming garment industry there.
     
    An eight-story complex of factories housing garment manufacturers collapsed in Bangladesh on April 24, killing more than 1,100 people. That has sparked campaigns in the West to improve safety conditions at plants in the country supplying Western brand names.
     
    Strikes over pay and poor working conditions are common in the sector in Cambodia, also home to numerous factories producing clothing cheaply for Western retailers.
     
    Ngeth Phat, 29, who was among those rescued on Thursday, said Wing Star had been open for little more than a year but there had already been two strikes by workers over poor working conditions and low wages she put at $80 a month.
     
    “After I got into work, bits of brick dropped on me, and  about 10 minutes later the whole ceiling collapsed. It was completely dark and I was under other people,” she told Reuters from a hospital bed in Phnom Penh.
     
    Ou Sam Oun, the governor of Kampong Speu province, said the factory would provide compensation of $5,000 to the families of the people who had died and $1,000 each to workers who were injured.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.