A few hours ago, an explosion rocked Foxconn’s Chengdu manufacturing facility, which is one of the main producers of iPad 2s within China…. and it’s looking increasingly likely that the explosion might have occurred on the iPad 2 production line.
There are few details to report yet.
However, the explosion appears to be serious, as there are currently more than ten fire engines on the scene, along with an equal number of police cars and quite a few ambulances.
The explosion occurred inside an operating room within the facility, and apparently resulted in many materials being hurled violently from the building.
MIC Gadget has some video of the aftermath of the explosions here.
The explosion allegedly happened in the A5 building, which is allegedly part of the iPad 2 production line.
It appears there are expectations that that building — part of a larger facility — might collapse as a result of the explosion. A local Chinese news paper is reporting that the walls of the facility have been shattered.
More than a hundred workers are employed in that part of the Chengdu facility.
On-scene emergency personnel are now warning reporters that there may be a second explosion, and to stay back from the buildings.
This is a breaking story, and there aren’t many details on the ground right now, including how Apple’s own iPad 2 supply might be affected by the disaster. More details as we get them.
Update: This is increasingly looking very serious. The explosion has already chalked up two deaths, according to reports, as well as sixteen injuries, three of them critically. It could have been worse, though: the explosion is now being said to having occurred during a shift change.
Update 2: Foxconn has just issued a statement.
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.