Foxconn Technology Co Ltd on Sunday confirmed that a third person has died following a large explosion at a plant in southwestern China on Friday that local media have linked to production of Apple's iPad 2.

The Taiwanese company, Apple Inc's main contract manufacturer for gadgets from the popular tablet to the iPhone, operates the plant in Chengdu, the capital of China's Sichuan province.

A task force led by government officials and law enforcement said preliminary findings point to an explosion of combustible dust in a duct at a polishing workshop at the plant, Foxconn said.

The company also said that all operations at that workshop remain suspended and production at all workshops doing similar work is also suspended. All other production operations at its facilities in China are running as usual, it added.

An Apple spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

In addition to the three deaths, 15 employees were hurt. Of those six, have been treated and released from hospital, Foxconn said.

Foxconn, the world's largest contract manufacturer, is an affiliate of Taiwan's Hon Hai.