Two Cambodian migrant workers in their 20s died of “heart attacks” in South Korea in the past week, according to Cambodia’s envoy to the country, who blamed the deaths on cold weather and overwork.
Kheng Bora, 25, and 28-year-old Yeoung Sareth died on December 30 and January 1, respectively, with the Foreign Affairs Ministry saying they were processing the workers’ insurance claims.
Kampong Cham native Sareth was an agriculture worker in Incheon, whereas Bora worked in manufacturing in the southeastern city of Ulsan.
Long Dimanche, Cambodia’s ambassador to South Korea, said their families would likely get insurance payouts of $1,300 to $1,500 and that he had asked other workers to be cautious during the winter, when temperatures can dip to negative 15 Celsius. “Workers die of heart attacks due to cold weather because they do not get enough nutrition and work overtime,” he said.
Labour advocate Moeun Tola said workers often find it hard to adapt to temperatures in South Korea and that the embassy should ensure they were adequately equipped for winter.