clearn.png
Thursday October 22nd, 2020 5:41AM

1 dead, 2 workers missing after explosion at Wisconsin mill

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Recovery crews searched a mountain of debris for two workers on Thursday following an explosion at a corn mill plant that killed at least one employee, injured about a dozen others and leveled parts of the sprawling facility in southern Wisconsin, authorities said.

Sixteen employees were working when the blast was reported around 11 p.m. Wednesday at the Didion Milling Plant in Cambria, a small community about 45 miles northeast of Madison, Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards said during a news conference Thursday.

There was no immediate word on what may have caused the blast at the plant, which was cited in January 2011 for exposing its workers to dust explosion hazards, according to records from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The records state that plant filters lacked an explosion protective system.

The agency ordered the mill to correct the problem by April 2011. The records show Didion paid a $3,465 fine and the case was closed in September 2013. OSHA hasn't cited the plant for anything since, the records show. The plant processes corn for ethanol and other uses.

Emails sent to several company officials Thursday and a voicemail left for Vice President of Sales Jeff Dillon weren't immediately returned. A note posted on the company's website said the company would be closed until further notice.

Didion Vice President of Operations Derrick Clark released a statement saying the cause of the explosion remains unknown and the company was working with local police and emergency responders. The release didn't mention the 2011 citation.

"The safety and security of our employees is our top priority," Clark said. "Over the past 44 years, the Didion team has grown to be a close-knit family, and we ask for your prayers during this difficult time."

Five people wounded in the Wednesday night explosion and fire were air-lifted to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison. Four were in the hospital's burn center, while the fifth was in the trauma and life support center, hospital spokeswoman Emily Kumlien said Thursday. She declined to disclose any of the patients' conditions.

Divine Savior Hospital in nearby Portage received six people hurt in the blast. Four have been treated and released, but one was transferred to the burn unit at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and another person was admitted to Divine Savior's intensive care unit, hospital spokeswoman Haley Gilman said.

Numerous fire departments, law enforcement offices and rescue agencies from the area responded to the scene, according to Cambria Village President Glen Williams. He noted that the plant, in a community of about 770 people, is an economic anchor in the area.

"Quite a few of the employees live in the village and surrounding area. So it's going to affect the whole area. Not just the shock of the event, but the economic hardship to the families," Williams said.

Williams said the fire was contained by early Thursday and there were no evacuations in the area. Schools in the Cambria-Friesland district closed Thursday because of the incident.

OSHA spokesman Scott Allen said personnel from the federal agency were on the scene Thursday to begin an investigation. The agency has six months to complete its work.

The company employs more than 200 people. It has offices and a soybean plant in Jefferson County to the southwest, the mill and an ethanol plant in Cambria and an oil packaging plant in Green Lake County to the north, according to the company website.

Brothers John and Dow Didion began Didion Milling in 1972 and construction on the Cambria corn mill was completed in 1991, according to the website. The company's corn products are used in brewing beer as well as in making chips, breakfast cereals, bathroom moldings, steel and ethanol.

___

Associated Press writer Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
In or out? Trump announcing decision on global climate pact
President Donald Trump is building suspense about whether the U.S. will pull out of the landmark Paris climate change deal
12:36PM ( 14 minutes ago )
1 dead, 2 workers missing after explosion at Wisconsin mill
The Wisconsin corn mill where an explosion has killed at least one person was cited six years ago by federal safety investigators for exposing workers to dust explosion hazards
12:36PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Aide: Stabbed councilman bears no ill will toward attacker
Philly city councilman stabbed during an attempted robbery near his home expected to fully recover; bears no ill will toward attacker
12:29PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
May, Corbyn clash over Brexit plans with UK vote a week away
Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour Party challenger Jeremy Corbyn have offered clashing views of the risks and rewards of leaving European Union as Britain's general election neared
11:59AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Afghans mourn, a day after massive truck bombing killed 90
Afghans mourn loss of family members, friends and colleagues day after massive truck bombing in Kabul killed at least 90
11:53AM ( 56 minutes ago )
$3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline begins service
The $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline is officially in service
11:38AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: France says no trace of Russian hacking Macron
The Latest: France says no trace of Russian hacking Macron
10:38AM ( 2 hours ago )
Black Eyed Peas, Robbie Williams added to Manchester concert
The Black Eyed Peas, Robbie Williams and Little Mix have been added to the all-star lineup at a benefit concert in Manchester for the 22 victims who died at an Ariana Grande concert last week
10:19AM ( 2 hours ago )
Putin denies involvement in hacking, hails Trump
President Vladimir Putin says the Russian state has never been involved in hacking
10:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
States, cities pledge action on climate even without Trump
Even if President Donald Trump withdraws U.S. support for the Paris climate change accord, domestic efforts to battle global warming will continue
4:55AM ( 7 hours ago )
Once-flagging Alaska space business shows signs of liftoff
Once close to death, Alaska's foray into the space business is showing signs of liftoff
4:35AM ( 8 hours ago )
Doctor arrested at Trump hotel on gun charges due in court
A physician and Navy veteran arrested at the Trump International Hotel in Washington after police found an assault-style rifle in his car is expected to make an initial court appearance
4:06AM ( 8 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
US job market looks solid 8 years after recession ended
US job market looks solid 8 years after Great Recession ended
12:20PM ( 30 minutes ago )
World leaders reaffirm commitment to fighting climate change
World leaders pledged Thursday to keep up the fight against global warming and urged Donald Trump to be part of that effort, hours before the U.S. president was due to announce whether he would pull out of the Paris climate accord
12:15PM ( 35 minutes ago )
UN to hold 2018 climate meeting in heavily polluted Katowice
The United Nations says that the Polish city of Katowice has been chose to host the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference
12:05PM ( 45 minutes ago )
AP Business
In or out? Trump announcing decision on global climate pact
President Donald Trump is building suspense about whether the U.S. will pull out of the landmark Paris climate change deal
12:36PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Aide: Stabbed councilman bears no ill will toward attacker
Philly city councilman stabbed during an attempted robbery near his home expected to fully recover; bears no ill will toward attacker
12:29PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Del Potro consoles injured foe, doing 'what my heart feels'
Juan Martin del Potro climbed over the net at the French Open and consoled his injured opponent after their match was stopped in the third set
12:26PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Gun-owners fear regulation from unlikely place: Hearing aids
A gun rights group is organizing opposition to a proposal designed to make hearing aids more affordable because it believes the measure would change the way certain hunting products are regulated
12:25PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Alaska space business tries to take off after setbacks
Alaska's effort to get into the space business is trying to take off again after a series of setbacks
12:25PM ( 25 minutes ago )