At the time of the blast, hundreds of workers were present in the affected workshop which houses an iPad 2 assembly line.
Foxconn, the company that manufactures many of the gadgets in the world, was rocked by a huge explosion in its Chengdu plant. By May 20, 2 deaths and 16 injuries have been confirmed. Cause of the accident is still under investigation but man-made blast has been excluded.
May 20,2011,Chengdu - Foxconn Technology Group, manufacturer of popular consumer tech products such as the Apple iPhone, iPod, and iPad, as well as Dell computers, had a large explosion and fire at one of its manufacturing plants in Chengdu, capital city of southwestern China' Sichuan Province on Friday night.
At least two people died and 16 were injured, Xinhua News reports. The explosion reportedly occurred in a building where Apple's iPad 2 was being manufactured.
A video of the accident scene shows black smoke billowing from at least one building as Foxconn workers flee the area. The local fire department has the incident under control, according to an email from company spokesman Edmund Ding, Bloomberg reports.
The incident occurred at about 7 p.m. local time at a Foxconn subsidiary in Chengdu, the capital of southwest China's Sichuan province, according to China's official Xinhua news agency.
The cause of the explosion is currently under investigation. But initial investigation by the police has ruled out the possiblity that the blast was man made purposely.
Anonymous Foxconn employees told China's Economic Observer newspaper that the blast was likely a dust explosion, which can occur when powdered, explosive material is confined in an enclosed space.
Foxconn has stopped production at the site until the investigation is complete, according to Ding, who didn't divulge which products are made at the plant. However, the Economic Observer reported yesterday that the damaged plant assembles iPad 2 tablets for Apple.
Friday's Chengdu fire is the latest in a series of public embarrassments for Foxconn, which has been criticized repeatedly by human rights groups in recent years for its alleged mistreatment of workers at its plants.
A series of suicides at Foxconn's Shenzhen massive plant, which employs more than 300,000 workers, grabbed news headlines last year. The company said it would raise worker pay to help stop the suicides and it did raise the salary of the workers by up to 50%.