General Motors is searching for an alternative source of parts and components after an explosion at one if its supplier’s factories in China damaged much of the plant and killed 75 people. The disaster was China’s worst industrial accident since June of last year, when a fire at a meat plant killed 119 people.
Reuters says the accident happened at the Zhongrong Metal Products plant in Kunshan city in the province of Jiangsu. The explosion originated in a shop that polished metal hubcaps for cars. The dust from the polished wheels had filled the room before it ignited and blew most of the plant’s roof off. Apart from those who were killed, another 200 were injured in the blast.
GM noted Zhongrong is not closely related to its operations, saying it buys components from a company called Dicastal in China, who employed Zhongrong to make the parts. The automaker stressed it had no direct dealings with Zhongrong and said they were a “Tier-2” supplier.
So far, the explosion has not had an immediate negative effect on GM’s production in China as it had enough of the parts on hand to account for the manufacturing halt. It is however looking to the future, trying to find another supplier who may be able to produce the necessary components for production while Zhongrong recovers from the unfortunate incident.
“We are working with our supplier to establish alternate processing capability,” A statement released by GM said.
Local police are investigating the incident in cooperation with Zhongrong executives. GM said it was “too early to determine the cause of the explosion” when asked by Reuters.