3 men killed at explosion site in Cambria identified

Published: Jun. 1, 2017 at 8:22 PM CDT
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CAMBRIA, Wis. (WMTV)—The body of a third employee has been found at the explosion site of Didion Milling in Cambria.

The Vice President of Operations at Didion Milling, Derrick Clark, confirmed the news Friday afternoon at a press conference at their Johnson Creek headquarters.

A spokesperson for the company identified the victims as Duelle Block, Robert Goodenow and Pawel Tordoff. Block was a mill operator, Goodenow was a forklift operator, and Tordoff was a pack operator.

Clark would not provide further information about the employees at Friday's conference, instead focusing on the company's standards and improvements to procedures in light of a 2011 OSHA violation which prompted many questions on safety.

"The catastrophic nature of this event in no way represents the journey and cultural change that has existed just even in my short time there, because you had a substantial, I would say, upgrade to both the personnel and the expectations as we worked through some of those previous incidents," said Clark.

Clark said the company's number one priority is supporting the employees and families at Didion after the catastrophe.

"Right now in support of our families, our team members and their families, we've set up on-site counseling," said Clark. "We've also extended our employee assistance programs to really support our team members and their families at this time."

Clark said that Didion is working closely with federal and local agencies during the ongoing investigation into the explosion.

Copyright 2017: WMTV


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Crews are searching for a worker who remains unaccounted for following a fatal explosion at a southern Wisconsin corn mill.

The blast and fire were reported Wednesday night at the Didion Milling Plant in Cambria, a small village about 45 miles northeast of Madison. At least two people were killed, including a worker whose body was pulled from the rubble on Thursday.

Cambria Village Clerk Lois Frank says local fire department officials say the search for another missing worker continued Friday at the site.

Nearly a dozen other people were taken to hospitals following the explosion and fire. None of the victims has been identified. Authorities say 16 people were inside the plant at the time.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Recovery crews pulled one more body from the rubble of a Wisconsin corn mill that exploded a day earlier, bringing the death toll to two, and another worker remains missing.

The cause of the explosion at Didion Milling in Cambria was not clear. But the company was reprimanded in 2011 for failing to have an adequate dust explosion protection system.

Cambria Fire Chief Cody Doucette said Thursday a smaller fire occurred in a different part of the mill on Monday. Doucette says investigators are trying to determine whether there's a link between that fire and the explosion.

The community of about 770 people 45 miles northeast of Madison held a vigil Thursday night to grieve the loss of life. The company employs about 200 people.


CAMBRIA, Wis. (WMTV)--- One person remains missing after a corn milling plant exploded in Cambria late Wednesday night. Columbia Country Sheriff Dennis Richards say one of the missing workers was found deceased around 6:00 p.m. Thursday.

Authorities say they were called to Didion Milling, Inc. around 11:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Crews continue to search for the remaining missing worker. The names of the victims have not yet been released.

Authorities say cranes and search and rescue dogs will be on site throughout the night.

Sheriff Richards says the cause of the explosion is still unknown.

16 employees were inside the corn mill when it exploded. Two people were treated at the scene, and 11 people were taken to nearby hospitals in Portage and Beaver Dam as well as the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.

Copyright 2017: WMTV