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December 18, 2011

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Explosion, fire injure dozens in Shanghai

AN explosion and fire at a computer accessory factory in Shanghai's Songjiang District injured 61 people yesterday afternoon, police said.

The injured were rushed to hospitals and were in stable conditions last night. Most of them suffered burns, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau said on its microblog last night.

The explosion happened around 3:40pm at Ri-Teng Computer Accessory Co Ltd, a major crust producer for Apple's Ipad and laptops for HP, Dell and Lenovo, on Shengang Road in suburban Songjiang.

The aluminum powder in a polishing workshop on the fourth floor of one of the buildings exploded and the subsequent fire burned an area of about 15 square meters, police said.

The injured employees suffered serious burns as the temperature of the ignited aluminum power was very high. Forty-five of them were rushed to Ruijin Hospital in downtown for emergency treatment while the others were sent to a Songjiang hospital, police said.

Serious burns

According to Ruijin Hospital, 23 of the employees sustained severe burns and will remain hospitalized for further observation.

Shanghai television news quoted a company insider as saying a welder in the workshop somehow sparked the aluminum powder, which caused the explosion. Police did not confirm this.

The factory was cordoned off soon after the explosion. The fire was put out around 4:30pm. The cause was still under investigation, police said.

The factory was founded in 2005 and has more than 12,000 employees.


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