Ceiling collapse kills workers in Cambodian shoe factory
At least two people have been killed and nine injured after the ceiling of a shoe factory, the Wing Star, in the southern province of Kampong Speu in Cambodia, collapsed Thursday morning.
The local district police chief, Khen Pannara, stated: “The ceiling collapsed as it had been used to store equipment and materials and due to poor construction it could not hold weight.” Pannara also confirmed that “two workers – a man and a woman – were killed” in the incident.
The factory employs hundreds of people and manufactures shoes for Asics, a Kobe-based Japanese athletic shoe company.
It has not yet been confirmed how many workers were inside when the structure collapsed. Local rescue teams and army soldiers are still searching through the rubble full of trainers and canvas shoes.
Asics has expressed its “deepest sympathies” to the victims and their families and a spokesperson for the company announced that the company would “consider measures to revamp safety measures at its overseas suppliers”.
Shoe and garment factories are among the key industries in Cambodia. More than half a million people work in more than 500 such factories across the country.
The incident comes almost a month after a nine-storey factory complex collapsed outside Dhaka in Bangladesh killing 1,127 people and has raised serious concerns about the safety and well being of hundreds of workers in these countries.
Following the two industrial disasters, top global brands Benetton, Marks & Spencer, Carrefour and H&M have collectively signed a deal to improve fire and building safety in order to avert future mishaps.