The Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China was rocked by a huge explosion at around 7 pm local time. According to a CCTV reporter on the scene and reported by MIC Gadgets, the explosion and ensuing fire occurred inside the building where iPad 2s are manufactured.
A Foxconn spokesperson has confirmed to Gizmodo that two workers were killed and 16 others were injured:
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.
21st Century Business Herald (via Google Translate) is reporting that the security staff believed the thick smoke was toxic and that the explosion was caused by "super-light dust", but there is no official word on the cause of the explosion from Foxconn.
There were apparently hundreds of workers inside the A05 iPad 2 building at the time of the accident so we hope casualty was limited to just those 18 people confirmed by Foxconn. It takes an unfortunate accident such as this to remind us that real people put their lives at risk every day to make us the shiny toys that we crave. Understandably, production for the iPad 2 has been halted to allow officials to investigate the cause of this accident and ensure the safety of the workers.
[Video Source: TV.SoHu.com]