China factory explosion expected to affect iPhone 6 production

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, iPhone, Smartphones, China

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  • You poor people have to wait in line a little longer for your iToy

    So the article seems more worried about the iPhone being delayed than with the safety of the people who make it. Kind of sad...
  • 75 people died, where are our phones ???

    OMFG !!! oh the humanity !
  • 75 killed out of a Billion people

    How is this news? There were over 400 murders in Chicago in 2013. Do we have people freaking out over that? Did they shut down the city to get things under control? Of course not. We just accept it as a fact of life and move on.

    Same this here. 75 people died polishing metal products. Plenty more where they came from. Now get those factories going.
    • You sir

      Are a C***.
      • Am I? And you are probably a hypocrite

        Any time there is any death in China linked to a consumer product, or to an Apple product in particular, people are up in arms. Why is that? There sure isn't the same uproar over murders in Chicago.

        You'd better take a long hard look. Is it because in Chicago it's anonymous unemployed black people dying, and in China it's a factory worker making something that sits on our kitchen table and therefore we feel some guilt because of our personal connection to it?

        Don't sit there at your keyboard and pretend we value all life the same because human history tells us we don't.
        • In answer to your original question...

          yes. you are.
    • 75 people were killed at one time

      and hundreds more were killed in an accident that could have been prevented had the people running the factory taken proper precautions with ventilation and dust collection.

      I agree with Naryan. You are a ... and may your soul not be tormented by your self-centered nature on this plane of existence.
      • unfortunate

        Chinese factories are for maximum profitability and have poor or non-existent safety standards. Each worker work for cheap and are easily replaced for the good of fat cats and even fatter corporations. Seems like their motto is to fix a problem after the fact rather than prevent it from happening in the first place.
        • PLease be aware that ..

          Please be aware that the so called "Chinese Factories" are the companies from other countries like USA and others. They locate in China and use chinese workers only.

          So it is more precisely called USA factories
    • Probably safer than work in the era of Mao and the Cultural Revolution

      While I do not like your fault comparison and appeal to hypocrisy by mention Chicago murder rate. Still there is a true cold logic about the deaths in China especially in a collectivist mindset were the individual purpose is to serve the collective. Think of the first half hour of China 2008 Olympic opening ceremony , there was no solo or small group performers.
    • You're kidding, right?

      Both statistics are tragic however the deaths in China are due to negligence in a work place. Proper maintenance at the work place could have prevented these deaths. I don't care when the new iPhone comes out, but your work place should be safe.

      As for the deaths in Chicago, that is a tragedy as well but you can't compare the two.
    • skewed

      Did Chicago have 75 murders is one instant or even a day and multiple injuries in one day? Each event is different and can't really compare. Murder is killing someone intentionally while accidents doesn't.
  • Hmmm....

    Instead of wondering how this affects the iPhone release, maybe tech companies should be asking why there are so many factory explosions in China.
    • Don't look cheap labor in the mouth

      Otherwise, someone might accuse you of being anti-business.
      John L. Ries
      • One thing missing...

        Corruption. It's S.O.P. for big, multinational companies (Apple is far from alone) to pay off government safety inspectors, licensing officials, etc. to look the other way when worker safety is compromised and a plant should be shut down.

        God forbid we don't have shiny new rectangles to buy in September.
        • Of course

          (sarcasm)Western companies have the right and fiduciary duty to do everything they can to avoid complying with oppressive and totally unnecessary regulations, even if they have to bribe officials to look the other way. And it would be the height of tyranny for consumers to withhold patronage to companies who are merely doing their duty.(/sarcasm)
          John L. Ries