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Explosion at Taiwan defense contractor AIDC kills one

Taichung City Government wants factory to suspend operations until cause of blast is found

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An explosion at an AIDC factory in Taichung killed one member of staff Wednesday. (CNA, Taichung Fire Department photo) 

An explosion at an AIDC factory in Taichung killed one member of staff Wednesday. (CNA, Taichung Fire Department photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An explosion at a Taichung factory of defense contractor Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC, 漢翔航空工業) killed one worker and injured six others, reports said Wednesday (Dec. 29).

Shortly after 10 a.m., the fire department was notified of an explosion and a blaze at the plant in the city’s Xitun District close to Feng Chia University, CNA reported. A dust collector containing aluminum alloy dust had reportedly caught fire, with factory staff trying to extinguish the blaze themselves while evacuating other personnel. By 10:26 a.m., the situation had been brought under control.

However, one of the staff members, a man aged 41, was hit by a collapsing wall. He was diagnosed with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and pronounced dead at the Taichung Veterans General Hospital, according to the Liberty Times. Six colleagues, aged from 33 to 63, suffered burns over 1% to 5% of their bodies, mostly their face and hands, but were out of danger, the hospitals reported.

The Taichung City Government sent an inspector to the site, demanding the company suspend its activities until the cause of the blast had been found and the problem remedied.

AIDC is known for its array of defense products and services, including the “Brave Eagle” Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) and the upgrading of Taiwan’s F-16 fighter jets in collaboration with Lockheed Martin.