Commuter Van Flips, Injuring 14 Factory Workers

A speeding van packed with 28 garment factory workers flipped when a worn out rear tire exploded on Thursday in Kompong Speu province, injuring more than a dozen passengers, including three who were hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

The accident happened at 7 a.m. during the work­ers’ commute to work on National Road 44 in Samraong Tong district’s Tompoa Meas commune, said district traffic police chief Se Bophan.

“We arrested the driver for questioning…and the van was brought to the district police headquarters,” he said. “We have concluded that the vehicle overturned because the back tire exploded while the driver was driving at a high speed.”

Tim Thany, chief of the provincial referral hospital, said the three critically injured women had suffered head injuries, facial cuts and, in one case, a damaged liver, and were transferred to the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital.

The National Social Security Fund will pay for their medical bills, he added.

The untrained drivers and poorly maintained vehicles that transport most of the country’s 600,000 garment workers to and from factories have been identified as one of the greatest safety concerns in the industry.

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