The Washington Post

Apple partner Foxconn hit by factory blast

An explosion at Foxconn, the Chinese company that produces Apple iPads, has killed at least two people and injured 16, the company said in a statement.

Production at the company’s factory near Chengdu, in the south-central part of China, has been suspended while local police investigate. The blast took place at 7 p.m. local time on May 20, Foxconn said, adding that the fire is under control

“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 company said. “Foxconn is cooperating fully with that investigation.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the explosion took place at a “polishing plant.”

Foxconn is infamous for its poor working conditions. A string of worker suicides drew international scrutiny in May 2010, and there have been reports that workers must sign non-suicide pacts. Foxconn has denied that it makes its workers sign any such contracts.

Apple shares were down slightly after news of the explosion was released.

Related story:

Apple fanaticism: Has it gone too far?

‘The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ asks an awkward question: Who made your gadgets?

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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