Yesterday, we reported about an explosion at a Shanghai iPad 2 factory owned by Foxconn that injured 61 people, some seriously. It’s the second time in the last year an explosion has rocked an iPad 2 factory, and it’s now been seemingly confirmed that both explosions happened for the same reason: a build-up of aluminum dust in the factory area that eventually combusted.
The revelation comes from China Labor Watch, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with unions and labor orgs in China to make sure factories have safe working conditions.
“The blast in Riteng is a result of aluminum dust in the workshop where iPad cases are polished,” China Labor Watch said in a press release. “A similar blast happened in the same workshop of a Foxconn’s factory in Chengdu, killing 3 workers and hurting another 15.”
According to Businessweek, Apple’s working with Foxconn to “understand the causes of the accident” but frankly, it seems pretty clear what the issue is. In fact, it’s shocking that after the first accident, a similar one could have even occurred.
In both cases, a factory that specialized in polishing the iPad 2’s case assembly suffered an explosion from a build-up of combustible aluminum dust in the air. Clearly, Apple and Foxconn need to figure out a safer way to polish iPads. No one wants the alternative: a plastic iPad case like some sort of Honeycomb tablet. Let’s hope this problem now gets solved.