Friday, 14 December, 2018

Sheriff: Explosion at Wisconsin plant kills at least 1

Alfredo Watts | 03 June, 2017, 00:32

The records say filters in the plant lacked an explosion protective system.

Didion Milling's corn mill in Cambria, Wisconsin, U.S. pictured in 2012.

Located approximately 45 miles north-east of Madison, or 85 miles north-west of Milwaukee, Didion Milling has been in operation for approximately 40 years. Recovery crews searched a mountain of debris on Thursday followi. The blast leveled most of the plant. Goodenow's body was recovered late Thursday and Tordoff's body was found Friday morning. "Several of our team members are involved in this community", said Didion.

The cause of the explosion remained unknown Thursday afternoon, according to company officials, and is being investigated. Doucette says investigators are trying to determine whether there's a link between that fire and the explosion. He declined to elaborate.

Dust explosions can occur when high concentrations of dust particles are suspended in the air in a confined space during grain handling. There were five grain dust explosions in the United States previous year and two of the incidents resulted in fatalities, Purdue University said in an annual report. Keeping facilities clean of dust and equipment in good working order to reduce the possibility of igniting the dust are key to preventing explosions, the report said.

According to OSHA records uncovered by WISCTV News 3 reporter Chris Gothner, Didion Milling had previously been cited for "serious" safety violations as recently as 2011.

"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.

Brunker called the violation "ancient history".

"Everything is about the stability of the plant, the proximity to the school", Raymond said.

The village of Cambria said in a news release Thursday that people plan to meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church to pray for victims of the explosion and fire at the Didion Milling Plant. "Not just the shock of the event, but the economic hardship to the families". The company employs about 200 people.

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

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

Ramirez said there has been a mix of workers at the milling facility - some stayed there for decades, while others worked seasonally.

The mill, which supplies corn and ethanol for customers around the world, operates around the clock. The district administrator said there isn't a student in the building who has not been affected by the explosion in some way.

The loudest thing Barb Haldemann typically hears at night in Cambria is rushing water from the dam next to her home on Taggart Lake.

"There's always a job there - it's whether you want it or not", she said.

She says she remembers him playing catch with her when she was a young girl and how he always liked to color and draw with her children. "He spent a lot of time joking and with the kids".

Didion Milling is a Wisconsin-based, family-owned agricultural processing business.

Its corn products are used in brewing beer and making crisps, breakfast cereals, bathroom mouldings and steel as well as ethanol.