Niece of man killed in explosion 'devastated'

Police were searching for two workers still missing after the blast, Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards said at a press conference Thursday. At least one person was killed and a dozen injured in the blast. None of the workers have been identified.

Cambria Fire Chief Cody Doucette also confirmed that a smaller fire occurred in a different part of the plant on Monday. "I just ask, on behalf of our company, on behalf of all of our team that's going through this, for your prayers, for your support, for respect for the families that are going through some tough and challenging times right now".

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.

In the last 35 years, more than 500 grain dust explosions have been recorded at grain handling facilities in the US, killing more than 180 people and injuring more than 675, according to OSHA.

The records say filters in the plant lacked an explosion protective system. The records show Didion paid a $3,465 fine and the case was closed in September 2013.

Numerous fire crews raced to the scene of a large explosion and fire in a corn milling plant in Columbia County north of Madison Wednesday night.

Clark says a fire two days before the explosion at the Didion plant was unrelated to Wednesday's explosion.

Clark said employees weren't allowed to smoke inside the building but he declined to speculate on other causes for the explosions besides dust ignition.

Emails sent to several Didion officials and a voicemail left for Vice President of Sales Jeff Dillon were not immediately returned. The fire was contained early Thursday but Cambria-Friesland School District officials elected to keep kids home for the day.

Classes at Cambria-Friesland Schools resumed Friday morning.

Around 7 a.m. Thursday, the Cambria Fire Department called in Wisconsin Task Force One, a specialized search and rescue group, to help find two missing people.

Seventeen employees were working in the plant when the blast was reported at around 11pm on Wednesday, village officials said in a news release. Village of Cambria officials later said 17 were inside before revising the number back to 16. Two people were treated at the scene and released. Twelve more were taken to area hospitals via ambulance and helicopter.

People enter First Presbyterian Church in Cambria. Williams says there were no evacuations in the area.

Tim Raymond, Superintendent of Schools, said the district is made up of roughly 400 students.

"Quite a few of the employees live in the village and surrounding area".

"Heard it, felt it - and then the whole town went dark", Haldemann said.

"He was a hard worker", she said. The agency has six months to complete its work.

Didion employs more than 200 people, according to its website, and is a family-owned business that has been around for more than 40 years and is headquartered in Johnson Creek. He said an investigation by Didion employees in conjunction with the Cambria Fire Department wasn't conclusive as to the cause of the fire.

  • Larry Hoffman