U.S. NEWS
06/01/2017 07:55 am ET Updated Jun 02, 2017

Wisconsin Corn Mill Explosion Leaves At Least 3 Dead, 13 Injured

The cause of the blast remains unknown.

At least three people died and 13 others were injured when an explosion ripped through a corn milling plant about 45 miles northeast of Madison, Wisconsin, late Wednesday, authorities said. 

Didion Milling Plant Operations Vice President Derrick Clark identified the three victims Friday as mill operator Duelle Block, fork lift operator Robert Goodenow and packing machine operator Pawel Tordoff, the Associated Press reported.

Some 16 employees were working at the Didion Milling plant in Cambria, Wisconsin, when the explosion was first reported around 11 p.m. Wednesday. 

Two workers were treated and released, and 11 others were transported to hospitals, according to a press release issued by the Village of Cambria. The Village of Cambria had originally reported that 17 workers were at the site at the time and that 12 had been sent to the hospital. 

Glen Williams, president of the Village of Cambria, said the fire destroyed a “three- to four-story structure” within the plant, but that it has been contained.

“It’s definitely going to be a hard hit for this community,” Williams told NBC News. “Didion works strongly with our communities, supporting our parks and et cetera, so any loss for them is a loss for us.”

Williams said the mill runs 24 hours a day and processes corn and its byproducts for ethanol plants. 

Didion Milling President Riley Didion said he isn’t sure what caused the explosion, reported WISC-TV.

“We do know there was an explosion and some of our team sustained injuries,” Didion told the station. “What we ask for is prayer. That is all we know at this point.”

Officials from Didion Milling did not immediately return requests for comment.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the explosion, spokesman Scott Allen told HuffPost.

OSHA issued a $3,500 fine to the plant in January 2011 for exposing workers to dust explosion hazards, reported The AP. The agency hasn’t cited the plant for anything since the case was closed in September 2013.

This article has been updated throughout. 

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