An explosion at an auto parts plant owned by Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co. near Shanghai has killed at least 68 people, with 187 more injured. The blast has been traced back to errant sparks in a wheel-hub polishing workshop that apparently ignited dust. There were a total of 264 people working at the plant at the time of the explosion.

General Motors confirmed in an email to Bloomberg that the auto parts plant was an indirect supplier that produces parts, mostly plated and polished metal items, for a company called Dicastal, which is a direct supplier to the American automaker. Reports also indicate Volkswagen is a customer.

This blast is reportedly the worst industrial accident China has seen so far this year, and it again brings up issues of worker safety in the country. According to the official Xinhua News Agency, cited by Bloomberg, there have been 19 serious safety incidents recorded so far in China in 2014, with the death toll cresting 200. Scroll down below for a video news report from CCTV.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Jeff Gilleran
      • 4 Months Ago
      Safety in the country? What a joke. They don't give a crap about human life.
      Aussie Aspie
      • 4 Months Ago
      It's terrible for the workers involved, both injured and deceased, but they've always been worth squat in the "People's Republic". Hope they managed to save the Dept of Corporate Espionage.
      ChemicalNBC
      • 4 Months Ago
      This is tragic. I hope this is China's watershed moment regarding workplace rights and regulations.
        RJ
        • 4 Months Ago
        @ChemicalNBC
        Agreed, but often easier said than done. Any culture undergoing industrial revolution are bound to go through this dark period before becoming a safely, efficient, and quality modernized industrial complex. Go back 150 years to the factories of London, and this story would not seem out of place...
          SloopJohnB
          • 4 Months Ago
          @RJ
          I agree…the issue here is that we are not sourcing buggy whips from London factories of 150 years ago. Modern automobiles are as sensitive to the way components are manufactured as the materials they're made of….in order to make modern components you simply cannot have 150-year old factory conditions. The Chinese get that with chip factories, but they still manage to try to do things like wheel polishing in old factories with dirt cheap labor.
          ChemicalNBC
          • 4 Months Ago
          @RJ
          You are exactly right. I was thinking of that when I made my original post.
        SloopJohnB
        • 4 Months Ago
        @ChemicalNBC
        It won't be. Garment workers die all the time in massive quantities from sweatshop operations. Rights and regulations are lacking…and are not likely to change in a Communist environment. What, you forgot they're Communists?
      Ducman69
      • 4 Months Ago
      Damn, not cool. Thoughts go out to the victims families. And before anyone badmouths Chinese safety practices, we've had quite a few explosions here in Houston, TX with the highest safety standards in the world. The reason you don't hear much about this in the United States is that we do very little heavy industry manufacturing, at least nothing that deals much with explosive material.
      Rotation
      • 4 Months Ago
      With a supplier chain which includes direct suppliers and suppliers to those suppliers and suppliers to them, and so on it can be very hard to ensure your entire supply chain is working safely. And not ripping you off for that matter. GM obviously failed here. It'll be interesting to see if they promise to do better and whether they actually do better.
        SloopJohnB
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        It's impossible in China to do so…the Chinese government won't/doesn't enforce similar OSHA standards and won't allow GM to inspect every supplier/subsupplier in the chain, much less tell GM who the subs are. And every layer cheats like a MF on specs, both material and operational/machining without oversight.
      charles
      • 4 Months Ago
      It all started when someone turned the ignition switch.....
      churchmotor
      • 4 Months Ago
      Thank God Savior Obammy gave them billions so GM can expand in China.
        Skylar Ross Toups
        • 4 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        Do you even know how our government works? PRESIDENT Obama can't just go out and do what he pleases, the bailouts were agreeded upon by both republicans and democrats or did we all forget 3rd grade history/government? Oh and expansion out of the US happened a long time before these two terms but by all means blame whoever you want to.
        AB
        • 4 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        Impressive demonstration of your critical thinking skills churchmotor. Can you enlighten us with more of your deep analysis? I'm sure everyone here would benefit from your wisdom...
      jphyundai
      • 4 Months Ago
      How very very sad. This is a large human tragedy. My sincere hope is that this will not happen again in china or anywhere. No car is worth the loss of lives in its manufacture.
      Avinash Machado
      • 4 Months Ago
      China needs to enact stricter safety regulations.
    • Load More Comments