Feds propose $1.8 million fine in Didion plant explosion

MADISON, Wis. - Federal labor officials say a Wisconsin milling company should pay $1.8 million in fines for failing to prevent a fatal plant explosion earlier this year.

The Didion Milling Co. plant in Cambria exploded on May 31. Five workers were killed.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a news release Friday saying that an accumulation of highly combustible grain dust likely caused the explosion. OSHA officials said the explosion was preventable and proposed $1.84 million in fines.

The company has 15 days to comply with the fine, request a conference with OSHA officials or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Company officials issued a statement Friday saying they don't agree with OSHA's conclusions or the penalty's severity. They say they're working with their attorneys to determine how to proceed.

They added they plan to build a new plant with state-of-the-art safety systems.


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