On Friday, a significant explosion rocked the Foxconn Technology Group production facility located in Chengdu, China. The facility manufactures Apple’s iPad tablets, among other products. Initial news reports are indicating that two workers were killed and sixteen were injured, three seriously, as a result of the explosion.
A news report appearing on the International Business Times web site indicates that the explosion and fire, which occurred around 7pm Friday evening, was suspected to be caused by accumulation of aluminum dust in the ventilation pipe of the central air conditioning unit, which may have triggered a spark, leading to the fire and explosion. This IBTimes posting features an amateur video apparently captured by a Foxconn worker fleeing the immediate scene, and the video features clearly evident smoke billowing from the factory and worker panic directly after the incident.
At this point, it is very unclear as to whether this incident will have any immediate or short-term impact on production of Apple iPad2 or other products produced at the Chengdu facility. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the explosion occurred in the “polishing plant”, which is a cleaning and finishing step after devices are assembled.
This incident unfortunately occurs as Apple continues to catch-up with overwhelming demand for the iPad2.