Damage from Tianjin blasts keeps John Deere factory closed

PHOTO: Reuters

NEW YORK - Deere & Co.'s John Deere said on Sunday it has suspended operations near the Chinese port of Tianjin indefinitely after huge explosions there last week killed more than 100 people and injured some of the company's 1,300 workers.

The Moline, Illinois-based company did not have an update on the status of employees who were injured while at their nearby homes, but said the small number of employees injured at work by flying glass had only minor injuries.

The windows and doors of several John Deere buildings were blown out during the blasts, a company spokesman said. At least one water main broke, causing damage to the engine works facility, and several ceilings showed signs of damage.

Company officials have not been able to return to the facilities and fully assess the damage because a government evacuation order is still in place, the spokesman said.

Employees at the John Deere campus in Tianjin primarily build agricultural and construction equipment as well as engines for customers in Asia.

The death toll in the port city hit 112 on Sunday with 95 people still missing, the official Xinhua news agency said, suggesting the toll could rise significantly.