Pegatron Corp, a supplier of iPad 2 back panel parts to Apple, has reported an explosion at its plant in China, which left 61 employees injured, 23 of which needed to be hospitalised. The incident could affect Apple's supply chain.
Pegatron Corp, a supplier of iPad 2 back panel parts to Apple, has reported an explosion at its plant in China, which left 61 employees injured, 23 of which needed to be hospitalised.
The company's CFO Charles Lin said that the plant is currently closed to production while it carries out pre-operation inspection. Both Pegatron and Apple indicated that they were investigating the incident.
The plant, which belongs to Pegatron subsidiary Riteng Computer Accessory Co, is in the Songjiang industrial park in Shanghai. Some machinery is reported to have been damaged, but it is believed to be minimal.
This could cause supply problems for Apple in the next quarter if the plant does not go back into production very quickly, but it will also have a knock-on effect on Apple's image, which has become increasingly tarnished by association with poor safety and working conditions in Chinese factories.
This is the latest in a series of accidents at plants in China, which has raised safety concerns and questions over whether or not big businesses like Apple should be outsourcing production to the region.
Apple has particularly been criticised for employing Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, to assemble its iPhone and iPad ranges. Foxconn has gained notoriety for its poor working conditions, which led to a series of suicides over the last few years.
There were explosions at two of Foxconn's plants in May and September, adding possible safety negligence to the list of concerns about the company and others like it. Pegatron will not want to gain as poor a reputation as Foxconn has over this latest incident.
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