Inspectors from the ministry in charge of construction who were called to investigate a “shaking” garment factory last Tuesday discovered that an entire extra storey had been built without permission or oversight from authorities, officials said yesterday.
As workers returned to the Siu Quinh Garment factory in the capital’s Dangkor district after almost a week off, government officials said they had still not concluded whether the building was safe to work in or what had caused the reported shaking.
“[But] we found that … they were only allowed to build a ground floor and first floor, but they have built one more floor too,” Huy Nara, general director of the construction department at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said. “The building … is used to keep a lot of equipment and workers.” …
The officials’ discovery came just weeks after the Post reported that the government was yet to increase safety inspections at factories. This was something it had vowed to do after two workers were crushed to death when a storage level – also built without the knowledge of authorities – collapsed at the Wing Star Shoes factory in Kampong Speu province in May.
Last Tuesday, workers at Siu Quinh Garment fled the building after feeling it “shake like an earthquake”, Bouy Srey Mom, 25, said. The factory’s 400-plus workers were given until yesterday off work while ministry officials examined the factory’s structure. …
Mom Kunthear and Shane Worrell