Five die from 'toxic gas' at Vietnam fish sauce factory

Vendors sits next to bottles of different sauce including fish sauce at a stand inside a local market in downtown Hanoi on Nov 21, 2016.
Vendors sits next to bottles of different sauce including fish sauce at a stand inside a local market in downtown Hanoi on Nov 21, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

HANOI (AFP) - Five people, including a Thai man, were found dead in a fish sauce storehouse in Vietnam on Thursday (Jan 12) after they were suspected to have inhaled toxic fumes, a company source said.

The men were found in a small room crammed with fermented fish at the CP Foodtech factory in Phu Yen province. The source said investigators were looking into the cause of death.

"We believe they died because they inhaled toxic gas inside the room that was full of fermented fish for fish sauce production," he told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He did not say what materials are used in the fermentation process at the Thai-owned factory.

One of the victims entered the storage room on a routine check and never returned, prompting his colleagues to search for him, but they were all later found dead, according to Tuoi Tre newspaper.

Industrial accidents are common in rapidly developing Vietnam, where labour laws and safety regulations are often flouted.