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Explosion kills two at Chinese iPhone and iPad factory

The explosion appeared to be accidental as two died and 16 were injured in the explosion at the Foxconn factory in southwestern China.

An injured man from a Foxconn factory, on a stretcher, arrives at a hospital in Chengdu in China's Sichuan province.
An injured man from a Foxconn factory, on a stretcher, arrives at a hospital in Chengdu in China's Sichuan province.
Image: AP Photo

TWO PEOPLE DIED in an explosion at a factory in southwestern China belonging to electronics maker Foxconn Technology Group, a company official and state media reported.

Foxconn spokesman Edmund Ding told reporters Saturday that a fire caused by Friday’s explosion had been quickly put out and that operations at the factory in Chengdu would not be affected.

The company, which generally shies away from publicity, is the world’s biggest contract manufacturer, making iPads and iPhones for Apple and other consumer electronics for companies including Sony and Hewlett-Packard.

An official with Chengdu’s department of occupational safety said Saturday that the explosion appeared to have been caused by an accident in the plant’s polishing workshop and that there was no evidence of it having been sparked deliberately.

Aside from the deaths, the official Xinhua News Agency said another 16 people were injured in the explosion.

Last year, Foxconn scrambled to improve conditions at its plants after a string of worker suicides.

The company’s factories in China employ more than 920,000 people.

- AP

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Hugh O'Connell

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