LONDON – Three workers have died and 15 more are injured as a result of an explosion at a factory in Chengdu, China belonging to leading Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn.
The cause of the explosion, which happened at about 7:20 pm local time on Friday May 20, is reported to have been a combustible dust mixture in a duct.
The factory is reported to have recently started production of the iPad2 tablet computer for Apple Inc. Apple has reportedly said it is working with Foxconn to try and understand the cause of the explosion.
The factory is said to be responsible for less than 30 percent of the total Apple iPad2 production.
The explosion will draw attention to Foxconn's problematic history of employment in China.
The company has been dogged by scandal during 2010, including 13 reported suicide attempts among workers at its Longhua campus. Foxconn manufactures many different products on behalf of Apple as well as cell phones for a number of leading brands and games consoles for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.
The company has at least 800,000 employees in China, including 430,000 in Shenzhen, It said it would increase wages significantly in Shenzhen and stop employing additional people there after the reports of suicides and suicide attempts raised suspicions about working and living conditions.