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Wisconsin Corn Mill Explosion: At Least One Dead, Injuries Reported in Cambria

by Erin Dean, Saphora Smith and Erik Ortiz /  / Updated 
Image: Emergency crews work at the scene of a blast and large fire at the Didion Milling plant in Cambria, Wisconsin
Emergency crews work at the scene of a blast and large fire at the Didion Milling plant in Cambria, Wisconsin.WMTV

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An explosion ripped through a Wisconsin corn mill late Wednesday, killing at least one worker, injuring about a dozen others and setting off a frantic search for two more employees, officials said.

The blast and large fire at the Didion Milling plant occurred around 11 p.m. local time (midnight ET) in the rural village of Cambria, about an hour's drive northeast of Madison.

About 16 workers were at the multi-level facility, although two of them made it out unharmed, Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards told reporters early Thursday. The rest were rushed to the hospital and at least one person was confirmed dead, he added.

Richards could not immediately detail the extent of the injuries.

Officials at Beaver Dam Hospital, which is located in neighboring Dodge County, confirmed to NBC News that it was treating patients. A spokesperson would not provide the number of injured.

Thirty-seven agencies were responding to the blast, Richards said.

Barbara Behling, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Red Cross, told NBC News that it had deployed a team to the area.

She said "at least six families" were thought to be involved in the incident, but added that she expected many more would be affected.

Riley Didion, president of Didion Milling, told reporters that it was too early to know the cause of the explosion.

"We are praying for our team," he said. "There's a lot we don't know right now."

Didion Milling is a family-owned business that processes corn for food and operates an ethanol plant across from its milling facility.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

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