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December 21, 2011

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Factory blast is probed

AUTHORITIES are still investigating the cause of an explosion over the weekend that injured dozens of people at the Shanghai factory of a supplier to Apple Inc.

The government ordered safety checks at the Riteng Computer Accessory Co factory, a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple supplier Pegatron Corp, said Gan Shanjun, a Songjiang district official.

Critics have taken Cupertino, California-based Apple to task for violations of labor and environmental standards by its China-based suppliers, and the company has said it is working to resolve such problems.

The explosion left 61 people injured, with more than 20 of them hospitalized, but none suffered life-threatening injuries.

"Our hearts go out to the people who were hurt in Songjiang. We are working closely with Pegatron to understand the cause of this accident," said Carolyn Wu, a spokeswoman for Apple in China. She would not comment further.

Pegatron, in a statement, said the blast occurred in dust-collection equipment. The New York-based group China Labor Watch said the explosion occurred when aluminum dust from polishing cases for iPads caught fire.


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