Explosion at corn milling plant rocks Wisconsin town

1 killed following explosion

Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards confirmed the second death at a news conference Thursday evening.

There were at least 16 employees working at the time at Didion Milling plant. Ehrhardt added that his son-in-law works at Didion Milling, but he was not working at the time of the explosion. Another body was recovered the next day, Thursday, June 1. OSHA hasn't cited the plant for anything since, records show. Recovery crews searched a mountain of debris on Thursday followi.

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

One person has been confirmed killed in the explosion. His niece, 33-year-old Sarah Goodenow, says she had an anxiety attack when she heard he had died.

She said he wasn't married and had no children but was happy and always joked around at family gatherings.

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 said an investigation by Didion employees in conjunction with the Cambria Fire Department wasn't conclusive as to the cause of the fire.

As federal and state investigators began sifting through the remains of a Didion corn mill in Cambria seeking explanations for the blast that killed three people Wednesday night, a Didion official avoided any discussion about whether the catastrophe was caused by a dust explosion that have leveled similar facilities.

"The safety and security of our employees is our top priority", Didion Vice President of Operations Derrick Clark said in a news release. Goodenow's body was recovered late Thursday and Tordoff's body was found Friday morning.

Authorities say two people are unaccounted for after a fatal explosion that leveled part of a corn mill plant in southern Wisconsin.

A fire Monday night near a gas dryer in the plant was "totally unrelated" to the explosion, according to Clark.

Cambria is approximately 70 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, this is not the first time the plant has been cited for violations before. Four were treated and released, but one was transferred to the burn unit at University Hospital and another person was admitted to Divine Savior's intensive care unit, hospital spokeswoman Haley Gilman said. The extent of their injuries is not known.

Cambria Village President Glen Williams said the fire at the plant is contained. None of the victims has been identified. He noted that the plant, in a community of about 770 people, is an economic anchor in the area.

A group of Cambria residents sued the company two years later, alleging the milling operation was causing air pollution, though the suit was thrown out. The plant's filters lacked an explosion protective system, according to OSHA records.

They don't know if there's a connection between that fire and the explosion.

The company employs more than 200 people.

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