Published: Mon, June 05, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Didion Milling employees attend 'team meeting' following tragic

Authorities say a third body has been recovered from the debris of an exploded corn mill in southern Wisconsin.

One plant employee is dead, two are believed missing and 14 were injured following an explosion Wednesday night at Didion Milling Cambria, Wisconsin.

A fire broke out at the plant on Monday, but Clark said it was unrelated to the explosion.

"It's very fluid. You know, disasters like this, we all wish we had more information faster, but I'm so thankful that the law enforcement agencies involved are providing information that is accurate", Behling said.

The number of employees inside the building during the explosion fluctuated through the day Thursday. Robert Goodenow's body was found Thursday night. He said an investigation by Didion employees in conjunction with the Cambria Fire Department wasn't conclusive as to the cause of the fire. There were 16 employees were inside the Didion Milling facility at the time of the explosion.

The plant processes corn for ethanol and other uses.

Didion Vice President of Operations Derrick Clark released a statement Thursday asking for the community's prayers, saying the company is a tight-knit family. The sheriff in Columbia County said that the blast was reported around 11 p.m. Wedne.

Commencement will go on as scheduled at the nearby Cambria-Friesland High School at 7 p.m. Friday after emergency crews declared the area sufficiently stable. OSHA investigators are investigating the latest fire.

Cambria Village President Glen Williams said the fire at the plant is contained.

Watch Ariana Grande's One Love Manchester Benefit Concert
Grande canceled upcoming shows in London and Switzerland to prepare for Sunday's " One Love Manchester " concert. Following the attack Grande went to visit a number of injured fans at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

"This has been very hard for everybody that's been there, including the families that sat for hours waiting for some type of information", Richards said at the Thursday morning press conference.

Six filters set up to collect dust in the facility weren't equipped with explosion protective systems and conveyor equipment wasn't properly bonded to ducts that are used to control particulate matter, inspectors said.

The federal safety agency ordered the mill to correct the problem by April 2011, and the records show Didion paid a $3,465 fine and the case was closed in September 2013.

Recovery crews have been sifting through a mountain of debris.

Sixteen workers were inside the plant when the explosion happened, according to company officials. The sheriff's office first initially said 16 people had been present at the time of the blast, but later had revised that figure to 17. Twelve were transported to hospitals via ambulances and medical flights.

The company has closed until further notice, but Clark said Friday all the plant workers will keep their jobs.

Didion employs more than 200 people from around the area.

William says the three or four story structure doesn't exist anymore. Construction on the Cambria corn mill was completed in 1991, according to the website.

Like this: