Explosion at the iPad 2-producing Foxconn Chengdu plant claims two lives

Several Chinese news sources are reporting on an explosion at a Foxconn plant in the Chinese city of Chengdu, Sichuan province. The accident appears to have been the result of a lightning strike that struck the building and caused a dust explosion, according to the Chinese news site 21st Century Business Herald. An evacuation was triggered over reports of airborne toxic smoke as a result of the explosion. At the time of the explosion, there were hundreds of employees inside the building. The building is currently off-limits due to concerns of a second explosion. Unfortunately, there have been two casualties and at least 16 injuries have been reported. Three of the 16 injuries were reported as serious.

The accident occurred in the A05 building, which also houses the production line for iPad 2s. According to micgadget, the accident occurred at 7 PM local time, and affected the second, third, and fourth floors of the building. Police have ruled out any human error in the causes of the explosion. It is unknown at this time whether this accident will trigger a delay in global iPad 2 shipments. For the time being, our thoughts are with the victims of this unfortunate accident.

Foxconn officials have provided Gizmodo with the following official statement regarding the accident:

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.

There are a few videos of the incident, courtesy of micgadget:

Image Credit: micgadget

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20 Comments

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If I told em once I've told em twice tuning up the heat wont get the product cooked any quicker you'll just end up blowing yaself up fool but do they listen Noooooooo and now look

I can totally see the workers being forced to keep working even during the event. This place sucks and Apple should be ashamed for using them to make their devices.

Chrono951 said,
I can totally see the workers being forced to keep working even during the event. This place sucks and Apple should be ashamed for using them to make their devices.

Apple shouldn't be ashamed of anything!!! You are just holding the wrong set of morals ¬¬

*ps: it's so easy to take jabs at Apple, don't know why people still fuss over , it's not like they don't have it coming or anything (and I don't think @downhillrider was tasteless tbh).

Edited by *711, May 21 2011, 4:54pm :

FFS this site is going to **** with its pointless inflammatory ****ing remarks about what ever brand the supposed writer doesn't like. Keep you opinions to yourself on these things. People have been killed at a plant that makes thousands of components for hundreds of different devices, the point should be to report on the tradegy not wtf is made there.

I couldn't give a **** what was being made in that part of the building, it's a shame news like this only gets reported when it's some bloody apple product being made there. I'd rather the news article had zero about whatever was being made and just concentrated on the injuries and whatnot which I deem more important than 'oh it could delay some stupid looking tablet'.

n_K said,
I couldn't give a **** what was being made in that part of the building, it's a shame news like this only gets reported when it's some bloody apple product being made there. I'd rather the news article had zero about whatever was being made and just concentrated on the injuries and whatnot which I deem more important than 'oh it could delay some stupid looking tablet'.
Then go read CNN or BBC.

No room for anti-Apple/Windows sentiments here IMO. Bad taste to still bring that crap up. Correction: It's annoying regardless when.

Northgrove said,

No room for anti-Apple/Windows sentiments here IMO. Bad taste to still bring that crap up. Correction: It's annoying regardless when.

Hey, it wouldn't have been an annoyance for you in the first place if Apple PR hadn't made a complete cluster**** of the issue (if you're referring to the first line my post). I meant no disrespect, and made a completely serious post (aside from the first line obviously). But hey at least my post was at least partially sincere, and wasn't just a meta comment...

Majesticmerc said,

Hey, it wouldn't have been an annoyance for you in the first place if Apple PR hadn't made a complete cluster**** of the issue (if you're referring to the first line my post). I meant no disrespect, and made a completely serious post (aside from the first line obviously). But hey at least my post was at least partially sincere, and wasn't just a meta comment...

Still pointless and tasteless.

Septimus said,

Still pointless and tasteless.

Great contribution to a sad story. Bravo. In hindsight I shouldn't have put my first comment, but hey, lets look at the mildly tasteless joke instead of the sincere paragraph directly beneath it yeah?

... Or are you just looking for a reason to complain without actually posting anything substantial of your own?

Edited by Majesticmerc, May 21 2011, 2:44am :

They're obviously manufacturing it wrong... Too soon?

Seriously though, tragic. Makes you appreciate how fragile the process can be for getting this amazing technology into our fat fingers, and the consequences of not appreciating the risks of dealing with dangerous chemicals.

Majesticmerc said,
They're obviously manufacturing it wrong... Too soon?

Seriously though, tragic. Makes you appreciate how fragile the process can be for getting this amazing technology into our fat fingers, and the consequences of not appreciating the risks of dealing with dangerous chemicals.

Uhh, what? It was a lightning strike.

Majesticmerc said,

... "and caused a dust explosion". This ain't your regular household dust.


Flour was the first documented combustible dust explosion..

It could well be a regular house hold dust. You just need to get it up in the air, then light a match and PHWUMP!

I wonder if Apple made them sign "Anti-Death" contracts like the "Anti-Suicide" contracts :\

Majesticmerc said,

... "and caused a dust explosion". This ain't your regular household dust.

Don't know what you're talking about. I have major dust explosions all the time in my house!