Five Injured In Gas Leak At Chinese Apple Supplier

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Five injured in Chinese factory gas leak, one possibly dead

More questions about working conditions in Apple’s supply chain are likely to be raised after a gas leak at a Chinese Apple supplier injured five people.

The incident happened in a factory operated by a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Catcher Technology in Suzhou in eastern China. The company makes casings for Apple’s MacBook computers as well as casings for products made by HTC and RIM among others.

Chinese Apple issues

Catcher has confirmed that the five were injured, adding that the leak occurred at a waste disposal facility and was not directly related to any manufacturing process, factory or materials. Xinxhua, the Chinese news agency, reported that one of the workers had been killed in the accident, however Catcher has not revealed if this is the case, saying only that they had been sent to hospital.

Concerns about worker safety and environmental damage in Chinese factories are rising both in China and abroad. Catcher was forced to shut two of its factories in Suzhou after neighbours claimed of a strong smell.

Apple in particular has come under scrutiny, and vowed to improve conditions in factories operated by another Chinese Apple supplier, Foxconn, following an investigation by the Fair Labor Association sparked by a number of worker suicides.

Employees of the company were given increased wages and better safety measures were implemented, but problems have persisted with some workers threatening to throw themselves off a factory roof in May. This was followed by the suicide of another worker, who killed himself by jumping out of the window of his apartment.

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