Mass fainting halts production at South Korean garment factory in Vietnam

By Son Thuy   October 28, 2016 | 07:32 pm PT
Mass fainting halts production at South Korean garment factory in Vietnam
Workers are treated in hospital after falling fainted at South Korean garment firm in Quang Nam Province. Photo by VnExpress/Son Thuy
66 workers, all women, fainted after working for hours in the hot factory.

A South Korean garment company in the central province of Quang Nam has been closed temporarily after dozens of workers fainted on Thursday and Friday, apparently due to intense heat.

Panko Tam Thang, owned by Seoul-based Panko, is cooperating with the authorities to investigate what caused the mass fainting of the 66 female workers.

On Thursday, 23 workers fainted after feeling fatigue and having difficulty breathing. The next day, 43 other cases were reported.

They were hospitalized and most have recovered.

Police, environment, health and labor officials are reviewing the entire production line and working environment.

A report from the company said the women fainted because the factory was heated up by new machinery.

Huynh Khanh Toan, the province's vice mayor, said that the facility does not have fans or any ventilation system.

One of the workers said there was a strong foul smell on Thursday, which lingered through Friday.

Pham Ngoc Hoa Binh, director of a private hospital that received many patients, said “It is a case of hysteria.”

The factory is expected to close until the end of Saturday.

Panko Tam Thang, inside the Tam Thang Industrial Park, started operation late last year as one of the largest garment manufacturers in Quang Nam with around 15,000 employees.

In July, around 1,000 workers at the company went on strike for several days to protest low wages.

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