14th March 2023

The blaze broke out on February 27th at the Foxlink facility in Tirupati which makes charging cables for iPhones. While thankfully all of the 750 staff escaped safely, the entire production facility in Jinkalamitta village was destroyed by the fire. 

The fire brigade prevented the blaze from spreading to the remaining units, which housed the dining and kitchen areas. The Foxlink factory is surrounded by other industrial units, including one for Indian phone maker Karbonn.

“Except for fire extinguishers, safety systems such as smoke detectors, sprinklers and fire hydrants were faulty, leading to a slower response in containing the fire,” said J Ramanaiah, who leads the Fire Services Department in the region.

"The smoke detector was not activated and fire alarms didn't go off," Ramanaiah added.

The cause of the fire is not known yet but India’s Andhra Pradesh state has launched an investigation into the cause.  Ramakrishna Reddy, Deputy Chief 

Inspector of factories said his department was "investigating the fire accident at the Foxlink factory and is looking to probe how the fire happened." 

Taiwan-based Foxlink has halted production for a month, with 1,600 workers in the plant asked to take a 30-day holiday and to return to their hometowns. Along with uncertainty for the business and its staff, the impact will be felt by Apple, with Foxlink a key supplier for the technology company.

According to figures from a private customs data provider, in 2022 Foxlink exported around seven million USB-C to lightning cables from India, and in January shipped 1.6 million units. Around 98% of exports were cables.