Third worker dies after Foxconn plant explosion, Foxconn and Apple offer statements

May 23, 2011
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We reported on the tragic explosion that happened in the Chinese Foxconn factory where the Apple iPad 2 is made on Friday. The explosion apparently was the result of combustible aluminum dust that was in ducts in the polishing section of the plant according to initial investigations. Two workers were killed in the initial explosion and there are still several other workers in the hospital. M.I.C. Gadget reports that the combustible dust had apparently gathered in a dust collecting pipe.

The investigation into the tragedy is still ongoing. One worker that escaped the explosion said that it "was louder than thunder." Work in the affected building was ended and isn't expected to resume until Tuesday. Apple offered an initial statement to AllThingsD Friday stating, "We are deeply saddened by the tragedy at Foxconn’s plant in Chengdu, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We are working closely with Foxconn to understand what caused this terrible event."

China Times reports that the production of the iPad hasn’t been affected by the explosion. Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou said that meetings with suppliers had already been held and that not only would the tragedy not delay the iPad 2 production. The time was also taken to tease new products related to the iPhone and iPad still on time for production in Q3. Foxconn issued a statement to AllThingsD that is pasted below.

We can confirm that at approximately 7 pm on May 20, there was an explosion at our Chengdu campus. At this point, we can also confirm that there were two fatalities with injuries to 16 other employees. We are working with medical officials to provide treatment to the injured employees and we are working with government and law enforcement officials to contact the families of all employees affected by this tragedy.

The situation has been brought under control by the fire department and the cause of this explosion is being investigated by local police officials. Foxconn is cooperating fully with that investigation. Production has been suspended at the site of the explosion until the completion of the investigation. The safety of our employees is our highest priority and we will do whatever is required to determine and address the cause of this tragic accident.


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