Explosion at Wisconsin plant kills at least 1

At least one person is dead and 2 known workers are still missing after a corn milling plant exploded last Wednesday night.

The University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison received five people injured in the blast. The blast occurred at around 11 p.m. and fire crews have responded.

The blast happened late Wednesday at the Didion Milling Plant in the Columbia County village, which is about 20 miles northwest of Beaver Dam.

"It's a large three or four story building that doesn't exist anymore", Cambria Village President Glen Williams said about the rubble.

Officials said that the ethanol plant, which is situated across the road, is not in danger and that there is no threat from chemicals or fumes to the general public.

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Nearby highways were closed as a result of the explosion and local schools were closed Thursday, considering the hundreds of homes and businesses that lost power after the explosion. "I was told that structure houses the lab and did have people staffing it at the time", Williams said.

An ethanol plant, which processes corn byproducts for fuel, is part of the complex.

OSHA ordered the mill to correct the problem by April 2011. It has offices and a soybean plant in Jefferson County to the southwest, the mill and an ethanol plant in Cambria and an oil packaging plant in Green Lake County to the north, according to the company website. The records don't clearly indicate whether the company complied but the case was closed in September 2013, according to AP.

"We've had multiple fire departments, ambulances from numerous communities, multiple Medflights", Williams said.

A family-owned business spanning two generations, Didion Milling has been storing, milling and transporting corn products for more than 40 years. The ethanol plant has been operational for almost a decade. Didion said it was too early to determine a cause for the explosion.

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