Explosion At GM Supplier In China Reportedly Kills At Least 69

An explosion at a General Motors wheel component supplier factory in Kunshan, China, killed at least 69 people yesterday, and injured at least 200, according to multiple reports.

The explosion at the Zhongrong Metal Products factory was likely caused by an open flame in a dust-filled room, according to Xinhua, and has been called a "serious safety breach" by the local government:

People ran out of the factory with blackened skin and their clothes in tatters.

A citizen near the factory said there was a huge sound, and "the door was blew open."

Photographs circulated on social networking sites show charred bodies of victims on trucks or lying on the ground as black smoke billowed from the factory.

Xinhua reporters at the scene said the blast left two large holes in the factory's wall, with large equipment and pieces of broken glass scattered around.

Ironically, as the New York Times notes, the company's website prominently displays the words "Quality and safety":

Explosion At GM Supplier In China Reportedly Kills At Least 69

Zhongrong Metal Products is a Tier-2 GM supplier, specializing in polishing metal wheels, according to a Bloomberg report, and GM is already saying that it had no dealings with Zhongrong, but rather it worked with a company known as Dicastal for its wheel components.

State authorities are already questioning supervisors in regards to possible criminal negligence.

GM, for its part, is basically saying they had nothing to do with the explosion, according to Reuters, and that the company is "working with our supplier to establish alternate processing capability."

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