We’ve all been tired enough to pass out unexpectedly after a long day, but a series of incidents quickly unfolding in Kampong Chnnang in Cambodia has more than a few people scratching their heads. And it’s not the first time either. The mass fainting was originally attributed to the nutritional status of workers, but after a thorough investigation found this may not be the case, investigators are looking more into the sudden and peculiar ‘wave-like’ fainting that runs through the factory at intervals. In a single day almost 200 people fainted and it wasn’t the first time. What could be causing this sudden strange condition to happen to so many people – many of which are not interacting with one another?
It all began at 8:30 when workers at the H&M knitware factory in Kampong Chnnang began falling over around dangerous machinery and losing consciousness. Fearing something deadly could be making the rounds, the International Labor Organization quickly began investigating to try to find the cause. Previously a report had come from the garment workers suggesting they could not feed themselves adequately on the $0.30 they had been making. Whether the fainting is related to nutrition or not is something that is still being investigated. According to Cambodian officials there was no “plausible” cause for the faintings. And in addition to that, there are disparate reports on the number of people actually affected.
While officials are still wondering what the cause of the faintings could be, one theory suggests that the workers at this plant could be influenced by a long range technology designed to influence their biological functions from a distance. This isn’t the first time strange activity on a mass scale has prompted suspicions over non-lethal weapons testing. Currently it’s unknown who the testers would be, however, given the relative isolation of the factory and why this factory itself would be targeted over any other. According to Indonesian authorities it is a simple garment factory with little of note aside from the harsh working conditions.
Sweat shops have always been a point of contention in global economics among many who say corporations exploit the relaxed labor laws of these nations in order to gain as much profit as possible while paying workers very little. Of course it’s strange that this would be happening in Cambodia considering the 2005 World Bank study that said the Cambodian garment sector had superior working conditions than other countries including Thailand, Vietnam, and China. Will this study come under fire if it turns out the faintings are not due to something a bit more unusual? Currently 80% of Cambodia’s exports are tied to the garment industry, making this mystery all too real for those looking to find out just what precisely is going on. If the faintings continue to increase or the plants must be shut down it could be devastating to the country’s economy.