Apple and Foxconn Respond to Explosion at Foxconn Plant

More bad news today at Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer of electrical components and maker of Apple's iPod, iPhone, and iPad. An explosion at an assembly plant in China caused the death of two employees and left 16 more injured.

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Apple was quick to offer condolences: "We are deeply saddened by the tragedy at Foxconn's plant in Chengdu, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families."  

Foxconn also offered this statement to All Things Digital:

"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."

Foxconn was in the news in late 2010 when employee suicides called the company's labor practices into question. In June 2010, Apple's Steve Jobs defended working conditions, saying, "Foxconn is not a sweatshop." With this latest incident, Foxconn and Apple have had more than their share of communication challenges.