China Factory Explosion: Three More People Died for Your Shiny iPad

At least three workers were killed on Friday in an explosion at a Chinese factory making the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 for Foxconn, the Taiwanese tech contractor. The state-run Global Times reported:

An initial investigation indicated the explosion could have been caused by combustible dust in a polishing workshop. Investigators ruled out the possibility of deliberate sabotage, Xinhua quoted officials as saying.

The company—which employed notorious global public-relations firm Burson-Marsteller last year after a series of worker suicides—has reportedly refused to supply workers’ relatives with a list of casualties. Journalists, even those with official state news agencies, have been barred from reporting at the site, in Chengdu:

Xinhua journalist Yuan Jian confirmed with the Global Times that his camera was taken away by three men wearing traffic police uniforms who also smashed his video recorder.

The PC Magazine website, however, reports that Foxconn should be able to shift enough production from the damaged Chengdu factory to its older, formerly suicide-plagued plant in Shenzhen to ensure that the supply of iPad 2s to consumers is uninterrupted.