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Feds: Didion Should Pay $1.8M Fine In Plant Explosion

Didion Milling Co. Plant In Cambria Exploded May 31, Killing 5 Workers

Didion Milling Plant damage
Photo courtesy of CBS 58

A Wisconsin milling company is disputing federal labor officials’ decision to levy a $1.8 million fine in connection to a fatal plant explosion.

The Didion Milling Co. corn milling plant in Cambria exploded on May 31. Five workers were killed, and more than a dozen were injured.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Friday that a preventable accumulation of grain dust probably caused the explosion and proposed fining the company $1.8 million.

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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.

In an email, a spokeswoman for Didion said the company does not agree with the severity of the fine, and is working with legal counsel to address the agency’s findings.

“As a family-owned company that has operated in the community for more than 45 years, we recognize how important our mill is for creating new jobs and adding economic value to the area, as well as providing an important source of revenue for area farmers, and offering our customers high-quality products,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the company intends to built a new plant with state-of-the-art safety systems.

Editor’s Note: This story was last updated at 4:29 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, with additional reporting by WPR.