Apple supplier Foxlink stops production after fire engulfs factory in India’s Andhra Pradesh state

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A massive fire broke out at Foxlink’s manufacturing unit in India’s southern Andhra Pradesh state. No casualties were reported.

The Taiwanese-based manufacturer, part of Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co Ltd, has halted production of cables for iPhone chargers. The factory opened in 2020.

The blaze was reported on Monday afternoon and damaged nearly 50 per cent of the machinery at the factory, said J Ramanaiah, who leads the Fire Services Department for Tirupati district in the state, reports Reuters news agency.

Around 750 people working at the unit in Jinkalamitta village, Tirupati district, were able to escape uninjured, police said.

Though the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, the blaze spread rapidly due to fibre, sheets, and sponge being stocked at the facility.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) A Ramachandra said that the fire was confined to one shed due to the timely arrival of fire brigades.

“The largest shed among the three was charred, while the other two were safe. The largest shed is where all the production takes place,” he said.

Photos and videos available with Reuters showed charred machinery inside the plant and groups of firefighters dousing the fire. The clips showed huge plumes of smoke billowing from the plant.

“Management has conveyed to us that they estimate a loss of roughly 1 billion rupees ($12 million) from the incident,” Ramanaiah said.

There are 12 Apple suppliers in India who have set up manufacturing facilities across the country. Of those, five are in southern Tamil Nadu state, two in Karnataka state, and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

 According to Apple, these companies are part of a longer list that represents 98 per cent of its direct spend for materials, manufacturing, and assembly of products worldwide for the fiscal year 2021.

(With inputs from agencies)

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