1 dead, 2 missing in explosion at corn mill in Columbia County

Columbia Co. officials confirm multiple injuries

CAMBRIA, Wis. -
One person is dead and two are still missing after an explosion at a corn milling plant  in central Wisconsin, according to Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards.

37 different agencies responded to the explosion that happened around 11 p.m. at the Didion Milling plant in Cambria.

Sixteen employees were in the facility at the time, a spokeswoman for the Village of Cambria said. Two of those employees were treated on scene and 11 were brought to area hospitals.

Beaver Dam Community Hospital confirmed it received some of those employees Wednesday night.

Cambria Village President Glen Williams spoke with our Madison sister-station WISC News 3 early Thursday morning. He said the three- or four-story structure housed the mill’s lab.

He said the structure was leveled in the explosion.

The mill processes corn and corn by-products for ethanol plants, Williams explained. Didion’s ethanol plant is across the street from where the explosion happened, and it is not in any danger, he said.

"We are praying for our team," said Didion Milling President Riley Didion. "There's a lot we don't know right now. Our prayers are with everyone."

A reception center has been opened at First Presbyterian Church on 121 W. Florence Street in Cambria. 

The Red Cross will provide Disaster Specialist staff on site for people to talk to. They are encouraging people to come out and gather. 

A fund has been set up at the National Exchange Bank of Cambria. To donate, you can mail donations to: National Exchange Bank, 118 West Edgewater Street, P.O. Box 338, Cambria, WI 53923.

The Cambria-Friesland School District canceled classes for Thursday, June 1. Classes will be back in session Friday and the graduation ceremony will happen as scheduled.

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