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Some Workers Returning To Didion Milling Complex After Explosion

Explosion Kills 4, Injures About A Dozen Others Working At Plant

Workers hosing down Didion Milling Plant
Photo courtesy of CBS 58

A company executive says some employees have returned to work at a southern Wisconsin corn mill complex after an explosion and fire last week killed four people and injured about a dozen more.

The blast and fire obliterated the Didion Milling plant, but a neighboring ethanol plant was not damaged. At a press conference last Friday, Didion vice president of operations, Derrick Clark, said he expects employees will be able to return to work at Didion’s other facilities shortly.

“Assuming there’s no impact to the ongoing OSHA investigation, we anticipate that ethanol production is going to resume at some time in the near future when it’s safe and it makes sense,” he said Friday.

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The company’s president, Riley Didion, told Cambria village board members Monday night that Didion’s ethanol plant will begin accepting loads of corn from farmers in the coming days.

Didion reported Tuesday afternoon that a fourth person, Angel Reyes, died Tuesday morning at University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison as a result of injuries sustained in the explosion. Reyes, 46, was a pack operator at the corn milling plant.

The explosion and fire rocked the small village of 800 inhabitants during the overnight shift May 31. Sixteen employees were working in the mill at the time.

The Portage Daily Register reports Cambria Fire Chief Cody Doucette said the rubble continues to smolder, but is contained by cement.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

Editor’s Note: This story was last updated at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, with additional reporting from WPR.