News reports have been spilling in all morning about the accident at the Foxconn plant. As of right now, the cause of the explosion is unknown. For now, it's been confirmed that there are at least two dead, at least 16 with injuries and at least 3 people injured critically.
Foxconn sent the following statement to website Gizmodo:
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.
Videos from the scene show panic as people try to gather themselves in everything that's going on. The audio in the video above consists of chatter, screaming and siren and it's difficult to make much sense of the scene.
Thought some of the other details are unclear, it's believed that it may be a dust explosion caused by a lightning strike on the facility. It's also being reported that security guards are warning people that the smoke is toxic, but both of those reports are unconfirmed as of the time of this writing.
It's also being reported that the iPad 2 production line has been halted. However, it feels trivial to worry about such things when human lives have and can be lost. That said, we can understand that there is a business side to this story as well.