Reuters reports today on an explosion that occurred at a Pegatron factory in Shanghai this past weekend. Pegatron is one of Apple’s manufacturing partners and helps supply parts for both the iPhone and iPad.
The blast was said to have injured 61 employees though thankfully no one was killed or significantly wounded in the explosion. As it turns out, the factory in question wasn’t yet operational and was in the mist of pre-operation inspections and trial productions.
The accident brings the spotlight back onto safety concerns over factories in China that make most of the world’s computers and other electronic devices, and over Apple’s supply chain, which has come under criticism from the Chinese government, and labor and environmental groups.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, Apple’s top manufacturing partner, has had two incidents at China plants this year. In May, an explosion at its electronics polishing facility in the western city of Chengdu killed three and injured 15. In September, electrical cables on a building rooftop at a plant in the eastern Shandong province caught fire but caused no casualties.
The company also had a rash of suicides at its plants last year, blamed by labor groups on overwork and poor conditions.
As for the factory itself, Pegatron issued a statement this weekend stating that damage to machine equipment itself was minimal and there shouldn’t be any overall impact to planned production schedules.