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Apple's iPhone plant didn't kill UNDERAGE TEEN factory worker

Cupertino sends doctors to Pegatron premises

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Apple's medical experts have concluded that conditions in a Pegatron factory were not to blame for a teenage boy's death from pneumonia.

Cupertino sent a team to investigate its contractors' premises, where iPads and iPhones are manufactured. The teen had managed to get a job at one of these facilities even though he was underage after borrowing his 21-year-old cousin's ID.

Pegatron has been criticised for the working environment in its factories, where activists claiming overworked minions toil away in sweatshop conditions.

Apple has repeatedly investigated conditions at Pegatron factories and recently commissioned the Fair Labor Association to investigate.

"Last month we sent independent medical experts from the US and China to conduct an investigation of the (Pegatron) factory. While they have found no evidence of any link to working conditions there, we realize that is of little comfort to the families who have lost their loved ones," Apple said in a statement.

"Apple has a long-standing commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for every worker in our supply chain, and we have a team working with Pegatron at their facility to ensure that conditions meet our high standards."

Pegatron insisted that pneumonia was not a condition that could be contracted from its production line.

"Pegatron has strict measures in place to verify workers' ages before and after they are hired, and we work with health and safety experts to provide a safe working environment for each and every worker," the Taiwanese firm said in a statement.

The Fair Labor Association said a limit had now been placed on the hours Pegatron employees have to work.

"FLA's expectation is that Apple, working with Foxconn, will continue to rigorously monitor working hours to ensure that they comply with the FLA standard of 60 hours per week but also make progress toward the Chinese legal limit of 49 hours per week," said Auret van Heerden, chief executive. ®

Sick note

A strain of the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium causes most cases of pneumonia. It is contagious, but less so than a common cold. It is most often contracted by people with weak or compromised immune systems. Pneumonia can also be caused by viruses, fungal infections or even by breathing in a foreign object (aspiration pneumonia). Sometimes an infection can travel to your lungs from elsewhere in your body. It is not known what type the deceased child had.

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