33 garment workers injured in Cambodia truck crash

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A truck transporting Cambodian garment workers to their factory crashed Wednesday, injuring 33 people, 12 of them critically, the government said.

The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training said in a statement that the accident happened early Wednesday in the western province of Kampong Speu. The truck crashed when the driver tried to evade another truck that had driven across the road.  

The statement said 12 of the injured were in critical condition. The victims were taken to a private clinic nearby and a hospital in Phnom Penh, the capital.

Cambodia’s clothing and footwear manufacturing industry is the country’s biggest export earner, employing about 700,000 people. In 2015, the Southeast Asian nation shipped more than $6 billion worth of products to the United States and Europe.

In January, a similar accident involving two trucks carrying garment workers in Kampong Speu province left five dead and 65 injured.

Also, in May 2015, at least 18 garment workers were killed and nearly two dozen injured in eastern Cambodia when their van was hit by a speeding bus, prompting a plea from Prime Minister Hun Sen for drivers to slow down to make the country’s roads safer.

Road accidents are a leading cause of death in Cambodia. According to report from the Transport and Interior Ministry, 2,265 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2015.

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