Hundreds of people working at a Bangladesh garment factory have fallen ill, officials announced. Investigators from the government's health ministry are currently testing the drinking water.
One of the workers hospitalized, 25-year-old Swapna Rani, in fact noticed her symptoms immediately after taking a sip. “I had drank from the water jar and around 8:30 am felt a searing pain in my stomach," Rani told the Independent. "I began vomiting within the next hour.
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The workers were from the Starlight Sweater Factory, which makes garments for "big-name Western labels," the AFP said, though the brands have not been identified.
Particularly bizarre is that some authorities suspect that the filthy water was no accident. "We are suspecting that it was poisoning of the water. It could be some sort of pesticide," an official from Bangladesh's Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association told the AFP.
The poisoning comes after a series of tragedies have highlighted the terrible working conditions that people making garments for popular brands face. In April, a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,129 people. And late last year, a deadly fire broke out at a Bangladesh factory.