Doctors in the southern province of Dong Nai said that 52 of the 95 garment workers treated on Monday for exposure to a gas leak were rushed back to hospital again on Tuesday, with the same symptoms.
That prompted local officials to order the company Asia Garment in the Amata Industrial Zone to suspend work at its factory and evacuate more than 800 people later on Tuesday.
The hospitalized workers reportedly fainted around 6 p.m. on Tuesday with gas poisoning symptoms.
Most of them had breathing difficulties and vomited.
Two most severe cases required special treatment, doctors said.
“This is the first time gas poisoning patients are re-hospitalized after discharged,” doctor Pham Long Thang of Dong Nai General Hospital told VnExpress.
He suspected that there was still a small amount of ammonia -- a strong and colorless gas believed to have caused the Monday’s massive poisoning -- left inside the factory.
“Therefore, when they came back to work the next day, they were poisoned again.”
The workers said that they did not detect any strange smell when starting their shift on Tuesday.
However, many recalled having fatigue during the day.
A manager of the Asia Garment visits a worker. Photo credit: VnExpress
Head of the provincial health department Huynh Minh Hoan said that health officials had taken air samples around the area for testing to know for sure if ammonia was to blame.
The garment factory meanwhile said it will cover all hospital expenses for its workers.
Inspectors earlier said that the toxic gas had leaked from the freezing system of a food company right next to the garment factory.