Explosion at corn milling plant rocks Wisconsin town


Recovery crews are searching a mountain of debris for two missing employees after a fatal explosion at a corn mill in southern Wisconsin. The explosion occurred across the street from the plant's ethanol manufacturing facility.

Sixteen employees were working when the blast was reported around 11:00 p.m. Wednesday. Some of the people who were hurt remained in burn centers and intensive care units Thursday.

Details on the explosion have steadily been released by officials on Thursday.

The incident took place at the Didion Milling corn mill in Cambria village, Wisconsin, on Wednesday evening, Cambria Village President Glen Williams said, as cited by CBS affiliate WISC-TV.

Mill President Riley Didion says the company is still not sure about what could have caused the explosion, and they are investigating the issue.

Records from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show Didion Milling Plant was cited in January 2011 for exposing workers to hazards associated with dust explosion and other fire hazards.

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The AP says OSHA's citation in 2011 was the last one the agency issued to the plant. Didion said it was too early to determine a cause for the explosion. She said she lives an four blocks from the plant.

The company employs more than 200 people. "On behalf of the company and behalf of all of our team that's going through this, (we ask) for your prayers, for your support, for your respect for the families that are going through some tough and challenging times right now". She declined to disclose any of the patients' conditions. One person was killed and two employees are still missing.

Even though the blast happened when school was not in session and the district building sustained no damage, Raymond notes the disaster will have a large effect on Cambria-Friesland Schools, which is set in a village of less than 800 people.

Responding to a question about the significance of Didion, Williams said, "Any loss for them is a loss for (the village)".

More than three medical evacuation flights were sent to the scene at the Didion Milling plant in Cambria, Wisconsin, just after midnight Thursday, according to authorities.