3rd worker found dead after blast at Wisconsin corn mill

Lange firefighters work the scene following an explosion and fire at the Didion Milling plant in Cambria Wis. Thursday

The local sheriff says at least one person is dead and more than a dozen are hurt after an explosion at a corn milling plant in central Wisconsin.

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. Tordoff's body was recovered on Friday. According to records obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal, the Didion Milling plant in Cambria was told by inspectors six years ago that they did not take proper precautions against dust explosions.

The cause of the blast remained unknown as of Thursday afternoon, Didion officials said. However, it is part of the investigation, Chief Doucette said.

In 1997, the grain-merchandising operation in Johnson Creek was sold, allowing Didion Milling to focus exclusively on the milling operation in Cambria.

Clark says a fire two days before the explosion at the Didion plant was unrelated to Wednesday's explosion. He noted smoking is not allowed in the plant. Didion said it was too early to determine a cause for the explosion.

While Didion also was fined $2,500 by OSHA after a 2014 inspection for a violation of standards listed as "serious" that was related to an "electrical protective device", Didion's safety measures were lauded by the insurance company that covers Didion.

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"There is no explosion similar to this one in my 30 plus years of experience", Brunker said."This is in a category of its own".

"He was a hard worker", she said. He also said the fire and explosion occurred within "distinctly separate systems". "Employees were exposed to the hazards associated with dust explosion, deflagration or other fire hazards".

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.

Explosions occur in those rare occasions when an ignition source - such as an electrical spark, friction, hot metal or a mechanical failure in a bearing co-exists with a dust cloud in the air, he said. Some might be moved to other facilities or retrained to handle other duties, he said. 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.

Power went out around the village late Wednesday night and fire crews are warning people to stay away from Highway 146. The ethanol plant has been operational for almost a decade. Most of the patients admitted to the trauma center are critically ill or require aggressive medical help, according to the hospital's description of the center.

Brothers John and Dow Didion began Didion Milling in 1972.