1 dead, 2 missing after Wisconsin mill explosion


As Ramirez and others waited for more information about the explosion and the workers, questions about what would happen to other Didion employees, and what the company's future in Cambria looks like, added to the uncertainty Thursday.

"Didion is a regional employer, and one of the things we did immediately was reach out to our neighborhood school districts as we know their families will be affected and their communities will be affected as well", Raymond said.

In this image taken from a video by WISN-TV, the rubble of a corn mill plant following an explosion is seen, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in Cambria, Wis.

All of the 16 employees in the plant when the explosion occurred have been accounted for. He said an investigation by Didion employees in conjunction with the Cambria Fire Department wasn't conclusive as to the cause of the fire. She says she's devastated.

The blast occurred late Wednesday at the Didion Milling Plant in Cambria, a rural village about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northeast of Madison.

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Clark says a fire two days before the explosion at the Didion plant was unrelated to Wednesday's explosion. Four were treated and released, but one was transferred to the burn unit at University Hospital and another person was admitted to Divine Savior's intensive care unit, hospital spokeswoman Haley Gilman said.

Company officials did not have updates on the other 11 employees who were injured.

"I'll be honest, when you pull up to a scene like that, that's something you never expect to see and I hope to God that I never have to see it again in my life", said Cambria Fire Chief Cody Doucette. The company was reprimanded in 2011 for failing to have an adequate dust explosion protection system.

Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards said the search is going slowly because the structure of the building is risky.

Dozens of area police, fire and rescue agencies responded to the explosion at the plant, which processes corn for ethanol.

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Just about everybody in Cambria knows somebody who works at the Didion Milling Plant. Schools in the Cambria-Friesland district closed on Thursday because of the incident.

Richards tells La Crosse television station WXOW that at least one person was killed and more than a dozen are hurt.

Cambria Village President Glen Williams said the three or four-story structure housed the mill's lab and the structure was leveled in the explosion. Facilities with poor designs that allow dust to settle in horizontal areas or faulty housekeeping practices usually are most susceptible to having problems, he said.

An explosion at a corn milling plant has rocked a community in central Wisconsin.

The cause of the explosion at Didion Milling in Cambria was not clear.

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"We've had multiple fire departments, ambulances from numerous communities, multiple Medflights", Williams said. He says there were no evacuations in the area and there's no threat from chemicals or fumes that he's aware of.