Two killed at Foxconn's iPad 2 assembly line: report

At least two people died and 16 were injured on Friday, local time, in a blast at one of Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn's factories in China, state media said, reportedly in a building where Apple's iPad 2 was being made.

The blast rocked the plant of a Foxconn subsidiary in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan province, early Friday evening, the official Xinhua news agency quoted a spokesman for the city government as saying.

The 16 injured workers were rushed to hospital where three of them are being treated for serious injuries, he said.

An official with Chengdu police said the cause of the blast was under investigation, according to Xinhua.

Anonymous Foxconn employees told the Economic Observer newspaper that it was probably a dust explosion, which can happen when powdered combustible material is concentrated in an enclosed space.

The report said the iPad 2 was being made in the building hit by the blast. The workers were quoted as saying that several hundred people were on shift there at the time of the accident.

The local government and the Chengdu fire brigade's spokesman were not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP.

It is the latest incident to hit the embattled Foxconn, after at least 13 of its employees died in apparent suicides last year, which activists blamed on tough working conditions.

Foxconn is the world's largest maker of computer components and produces items for Apple, Sony and Nokia. It employs about one million workers in China, about half of them based in its main facility in the southern city of Shenzhen.

Foxconn has been expanding its workforce in other parts of China as it seeks to scale back the size of its Shenzhen plant.

The firm opened the two-billion-dollar Chengdu plant in October last year, according to Xinhua.

- AFP

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