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Poisonous gas puts 2,000 in hospital

Update: April, 22/2014 - 08:30

THANH HOA (VNS) — More than 2,000 workers at two footwear factories in northern Thanh Hoa City have been rushed to hospital after breathing in high levels of organic solvents. They have now all been released.

The poisoning occurred at the Taiwanese Hong Fu Footware Company Ltd on Thursday and at the Hong My Company on Monday this week.

Thanh Hoa Health Department confirmed that more than 1,300 workers were hospitalised last Thursday and 668 on Monday suffering from headaches, dizziness, vomiting, sweating and convulsions.

A team of inspectors from the Ministry of Health, led by head of the Food Safety Department, Tran Quang Trung, has investigated working conditions at the factories.

They found that the employees had been working in cramped and stuffy workshops which lacked an air circulation system. The levels of organic solvent increased on hot days, affecting the workers' nervous systems.

Earlier, Thanh Hoa provincial authorities dismissed speculation that the shoe workers had been poisoned as they could find no trace of poison or heavy metals in drinking water.

Meanwhile, in northern Ninh Binh City, a total of 118 workers at a camera company, MCNEX Ltd, were hospitalised after eating food at the factory canteen.

Ninh Binh Province's Health Department vice director Vu Manh Duong said that 89 workers became sick on Monday suffering from stomach ache and vomiting.

Another 29 were hospitalised on Tuesday. Authorities have taken food samples for testing.

All the workers have left hospital. — VNS

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