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Workers hospitalised after chemical container explodes

Update: July, 31/2014 - 10:00
Three workers at Phong Phu Corporation in District 9 on Monday were treated at Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City for severe chemical burns after an accident at the company's factory.— Photo tienphong

HCM CITY (VNS) — Three workers at Phong Phu Corporation in District 9 on Monday were treated at Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City for severe chemical burns after an accident at the company's factory.

According to the workers, a container in which they were pouring chemicals exploded.

The workers in the factory, which specialises in producing yarns, towels, denim fabric, garments and sewing threads, said the accident had occurred at 1 pm.

However, a company representative gave another account, saying that the workers had not followed regulations, and had failed to turn off the device used to stir the chemical liquid into the containers.

Thus, the containers had overflowed with the chemical liquid and splashed onto the workers' bodies, said the representative.

The official cause is under investigation, according to local news reports.

Two of the men had third- and fourth-degree burns and severely damaged eyes. The other man had second-degree burns, doctors at the hospital said.

On the same day, the hospital treated two patients for severe burns after a mine exploded while the two men were fishing.

Tran Doan Dao, head of Cho Ray Hospital's Burn and Plastic Surgery Ward, said that his ward treated 1,200 inpatients and 460 outpatients for burns every year.

Of these, 70 per cent are injured in the workplace.

According to World Health Organisation's figures, an estimated 265,000 deaths worldwide are caused by burns each year. Most of them occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Men are most likely to be burned in the workplace due to fire, scalds, chemicals and electrical burns, while children and women are usually burned in domestic kitchens from receptacles containing hot liquids or flames or from cooking stove explosions, according to WHO figures.

Dao said the rate of disability caused by electrical burns was very high, leading to a loss of working capacity, and in some cases, fatalities.

Workers can also suffer from cold-temperature burns that can cause frostbite.

Dao's ward last week admitted a 23-year-old patient from Dong Thap Province with frostbite injuries. Some of his toes would have to be amputated this week, Dao said.

Workers in extremely cold temperatures should wear protective clothes, he said. — VNS

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