1 of 2 missing people found dead after corn mill explosion

2 confirmed fatalities

CAMBRIA, Wis. - One of the two people missing after a corn mill explosion in Cambria has been found dead, the Columbia County Sheriff confirmed.

The person was found just before 6 p.m., bringing the confirmed number of fatalities to two. The names of both victims are not being released until family has been notified.

37 different agencies responded to the explosion that happened around 11 p.m. Wednesday 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.

"I'll be honest, when you pull up to a scene like that, that's something you never expect to see and I hope to God that I never have to see it again in my life," said Cambria Fire Chief Cody Doucette.

There is no word yet on the condition of any of those employees, although some could have serious injuries, Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards said.

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.

As of Thursday night, one part of the building was still too dangerous to access.

Crews plan to search through the night Thursday to find the one remaining missing person.

Investigators still do not know what caused the explosion.

"We train every day, we train for the worst," said Chief Doucette. "This was worse than anything I could ever imagine."

According to Chief Doucette, there was a fire in a different section of the plant on Monday. However, there is no connection between that fire and the explosion.

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.

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