China factory explosion expected to affect iPhone 6 production

Summary:After a deadly aluminum dust explosion in East China, authorities called for emergency safety inspections that could affect Foxconn production.

Image: CNET/CBS Interactive

A massive dust explosion at a metal polishing factory in China's Jiangsu province, which claimed 75 lives and injured hundreds, has triggered a nationwide production halt and safety inspection, which may affect Foxconn's output, reports have suggested.

According to inside sources, the national work safety authority has sent dust experts to carry out investigations and ordered all polishing workshops — including Foxconn's facility — across China, to stop production and begin self-inspection on production safety.

As a result, the source expects the production of the iPhone 6, Xiaomi 4, and MX4 to be affected.

The body of Apple's upcoming smartphone, and its Chinese counterparts and rivals, are made of an aluminum alloy, which must then be polished. The process, however, often causes flammable metal dust to flow in the air. In the Kunshan tragedy on Saturday, high-density aluminum dust began to accumulate in a badly-ventilated workshop and ignited.

The incident is considered to be the biggest industry accident this year, according to China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based non-governmental labour organization.

Topics: Apple, China, iPhone, Smartphones


Liu Jiayi is a Hong Kong-based writer and editor. He produces video stories for Al Jazeera English and Seven News Australia, and also worked as the video editor for the Hong Kong-San Francisco Ocean Film Festival 2012. He is studying under a Master of Journalism Programme at the University of Hong Kong.

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