An explosion at a factory in China that supplies products to General Motors killed 75 people on Saturday. Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co.’s primary business is electroplating aluminum alloy wheel hubs.
The company acts as a supplier to Dicastal, which is a GM supplier. GM officials told TheDetroitBureau.com today that it has “sufficient inventory of the effected parts and do not expect an impact on production.”
Authorities are investigating the explosion, but haven’t determined the cause. The automaker said it would “closely monitor the investigation and, if asked, will provide any resources and information that can assist in this matter.”
According to reports, metal dust from polishing steel hubcaps caught fire and caused an explosion. In addition to the deaths, another 186 people were injured in the blast that destroyed nearly the entire roof of the facility in Kunshan, in the Jiangsu province.
The workers were burned over 50% to 90% of their bodies when the metallic dust stuck to their skin, said Liu Wei, the city’s deputy chief of the health bureau, according to the Associated Press.
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For several years, employees at the factory complained problems with dust gathering on their work tables, and poor ventilation in the facility.
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Jiangsu’s provincial government website said Sunday that initial investigations by the Kunshan city government found that the factory was at fault in the dust explosion, AP reported.
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The explosion is not the first in China attributed to the problem. In 2012, a dust explosion at an aluminum lock polishing workshop in the eastern city of Wenzhou killed 13 people and injured 15. Prior to that, aluminum powder exploded at an abandoned factory being rented out as temporary housing in the eastern city of Danyang, killing 11 people and injuring 20, AP reported.