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Day after explosion, workers turned away at Foxconn plant

2011/05/21 22:40:26

Chengdu, May 21 (CNA) Workers arriving at Taiwanese electronicmanufacturer Foxconn's factory in China's southwestern city Chengduwere turned away Saturday, a day after an explosion at the plantkilled two people and injured 16 others.

A cordon was set up more than 300 meters from the complex, whichwas tightly guarded. Some 20 police officers were on site to makesure no one crossed the line.

"I'm supposed to be at work, " a man in his 20's explained to theofficers. "No work today, " said one policeman. "Go home and wait forfurther notice."

Security guards working for Foxconn Technology Group asked allemployees approached by reporters to leave, in an attempt to stopthem from being interviewed.

An official from the Chengdu city government's news office toldreporters that the factory was "not operational" as a full inspectionwas on-going. Production would not resume until it is safe for theworkers to return, he said.

He would not predict when the factory would be declared safeagain.

Foxconn, the name used by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry China, is the world's biggest contract manufacturer of electronicsproducts, including top brands such as Apple and Dell.

The Chengdu plant, on the outskirts of Sichuan's capital, is saidto make iPad computers and iPhones for Apple Inc. The factoryreportedly has a workforce of over 10,000.

An official with Chengdu's department of occupational safety hassaid that the explosion on Friday evening appeared to have beencaused by an accident in the plant's polishing workshop.

There was no evidence indicating that the incident was the resultof sabotage, according to local officials.

(By Chiu Kuo-chiang and Jay Chen)