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Company, managers indicted in deadly corn mill explosion

Posted On: May. 17, 2022 10:16 AM CST


A federal grand jury has indicted the operator and six managers of a Cambria, Wisconsin, corn mill where a May 2017 explosion killed five workers and injured 15 others.

Didion Milling Inc. and the six managers were charged with nine criminal counts, including two counts related to willful violations of federal workplace safety standards for grain handling, the Department of Labor announced Monday.

The indictments, handed down by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Madison on May 11, include counts of “document falsification in contemplation of a U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation and obstructing the federal OSHA investigation,” according to a DOL statement. The company and the six officials were also charged with making false entries in a cleaning logbook.

Didion Milling was also charged with willfully violating two federal safety standards in the Occupational Safety and Health Act for allegedly failing to develop and implement a written program to effectively prevent and remove combustible grain dust accumulations and not installing venting or suppression on a dust filter collector to prevent an explosion.

Two former Didion Milling shift superintendents pleaded guilty previously to making false entries in the company’s cleaning logbook and in the baghouse log, which involved matters within the purview of OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency, respectively.