Shares of Foxconn's parent company Hon Hai fell as much as 5 percent Monday following the explosion that killed 3 people and injured several more in South Western China on Friday. Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, said Monday it's closing all of its polishing plants for inspection, a move that could delay new shipments of Apple's popular iPad 2 tablet computers. Here's the latest on the explosion and what it means for Apple.
The explosion In a press release, Foxconn said that initial findings point to an "explosion of combustible dust in a duct" that caused the accident. However, it's "still being investigated by a joint investigation task force led by government officials and law enforcement authorities." Star Chang at M.I.C. Gadget reports that many Foxconn workers are too scared to describe what happened at the plant for fear of reprisal from their superiors. The Los Angeles Times' Benjamin Haas digs a little deeper and finds that the explosion could be due to malfeasance on the part of Foxconn, as workplace hazards were reported at the plant. "Workers told us that the polishing department windows were shut and there was aluminum dust floating in the air," says Cheng Yi Yi, a member of a corporate watchdog group. "The facility wasn't even completed. There were prime conditions for an accident." Filiup Truta at Softpedia wonders if the accident will spark another "wave of suicides" at the plant, as the manufacturer works its employees harder to play catchup.