A scene from Foxconn’s plant in eastern China, courtesy of weibo.com.
UPDATE [September 27, 2011 at 9:22am ET]: The article has been updated with three video clips from eyewitnesses and additional information sourced from M.I.C. Gadget.
Reuters reports this morning that a fire which threatened to set ablaze Foxconn’s plant in Shandong, eastern China, has been extinguished.
The spokesman said the morning fire was in electrical cables on a building roof. Any damage would be covered by insurance.
The plant mainly manufacture phones, game consoles, LCD TVs and notebooks. No casualties were reported and operations have not been affected, a Foxconn spokesman told the news gathering organization. DIGITIMES chimed in with a Foxconn comment. The company “believes the fire was started from abandoned pipe lines that were placed on top of the plant building”. Foxconn also added:
Since the fire only hit the top floor of the plant building and did no damage to production lines, the company’s operations will remain unchanged, while the damage to the building will be covered by insurance.
Judging by the videos published by M.I.C. Gadget and include here for reference, that doesn’t look like a small, insignificant fire as thick, black smoke raises from the building. Remember, if you will, a May explosion at Foxconn’s iPad assembling facility in Chengdu which left three dead and many more injured. Foxconn at the time blamed the incident on flammable particles in the air. What if this was the same deal? Chinese media reports blame the fire on improper operation of workmanship on color spraying.
The May explosion at Foxconn’s facility had affected iPad 2 output and rose questions about safety procedures at Foxconn’s manufacturing facilities. A note yesterday from JPMorgan Chase & Co. incorrectly speculated that Apple was cutting iPad orders for the holiday shopping season by a whopping 25 percent. Hours later JPMorgan issued a retraction, blaming the Asian analyst team while noting that “Apple is fine”. Foxconn, Apple’s long-standing manufacturing partner, will make an unknown number of iPads in its new plant in Brazil. The Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology, Aloizio Mercadante recently said that iPads from that manufacturing facility will begin rolling out of the assembly line in December.