Three dead after Foxconn factory blast, Apple investigating

Explosion was caused by "combustible dust in a duct" according to initial findings.

A third employee had died from injuries caused by an explosion at a factory of Foxconn in Chengdu, China, the company said Sunday. Initial findings show the blast was caused by "combustible dust in a duct."

Apple said it was working with Foxconn to understand what caused the incident. The Friday explosion injured 15 other employees, six of whom have been treated and released from the hospital, according to Foxconn.

Taiwan-based Foxconn is still working with Chinese authorities to investigate the root cause of the explosion. Operations at the Chengdu factory have been suspended. Foxconn has also suspended production at its other factories that carry out "similar processing functions."

Foxconn, a producer of products for companies like Apple, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard, has come under fire in the past for its working conditions. Last year a string of suicides occurred at Foxconn's Shenzhen factory. Apple has maintained that it works with Foxconn to ensure high safety standards at the supplier's factories..

Foxconn's Chengdu factory produces iPads, according to a May report by the Hong Kong-based watchdog group Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM). SACOM estimates the work force at the factory to be 100,000 employees.

The May report also said the occupational health and safety issues at the factory were "alarming." Workers interviewed complained of constantly breathing in dust at one of the campuses.

"In the milling machine department in Chengdu, some workers state they always breathe in the aluminum dust. Workers in the polishing department also complain that the department is full of aluminum dust," according to the report. "Some workers comment that ventilation on shop floor should be improved."

Foxconn has said that its Chengdu factory is a new site, still under construction.

Apple did not comment on how the incident would affect production of Apple's iPad device. But the explosion has created concerns that it will lead to a shortage in iPads.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags outsourcingHealth and safetyhardware systemstablet PCslaptopsenvironmentElectronics manufacturingFoxconn ElectronicsAppleservices

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?