Workers at a textile factory in Ho Chi Minh City fainted en masse on Monday in what authorities suspect was a gas poisoning.
Workers reported a foul smell prior to feeling dizzy and then nauseated.
According to employees of Smart Elegant Textile Company based in Hoc Mon District, the incident began two hours into Monday’s morning shift, when a female worker suddenly passed out.
Moments later, other workers began having difficulty breathing, followed by dizziness and nausea.
Those who were able to maintain consciousness ran to alarm the company’s management.
The victims were immediately taken to Hoc Mon General Hospital for treatment.
According to Nguyen Manh Bao, the hospital’s deputy director, a total of 34 workers were admitted to the hospital’s emergency ward with symptoms including headaches, numb limbs, and dizziness.
Some were forced to resort to resting along the hospital’s corridors as there were not enough beds.
By the afternoon of the same day, most workers had regained consciousness and been stable enough to recall the incident, Bao said.
“Based on the patients’ symptoms and their accounts of a foul smell prior to feeling dizzy, it is possible that they were poisoned,” Bao said. “We are working with local authorities to identify the cause.”
Hoc Mon District Police were also present at the hospital to collect eyewitness accounts of the incident.
A worker is attended to by a nurse at Hoc Mon General Hospital, May 15, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre