UPDATE: 1 dead, patients with significant injuries after Cambria

news alert

Copy-UPDATE: 1 dead, patients with significant injuries after Cambria explosion

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE (WKOW) -- The Village of Cambria is updating its information regarding the plant explosion at Didion Milling.

Authorities now say 17 employees were in the facility at the time of the blast. Two of them were treated and released, while 12 employees were transported to area hospitals by either ambulance, Med Flight or Flight for Life helicopters. One person was killed and two are believed to still be missing.

The explosion and resulting fire did significant damage to buildings and structures on site.

The Cambria Fire Department is still on site as of 11:45 a.m. They were assisted by nearly two-dozen other fire departments, eight EMS services, four police departments, county and state departments as well as the American Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Anyone who wants to offer assistance or supplies can contact the Cambria Village Office at (920) 348-5443.

********

UPDATE (WKOW) -- UW Hospital in Madison says four of its five patients from the explosion in Cambria are in the burn center.

More than a dozen people were injured in the explosion at the Didion Milling Plant in Columbia County late Wednesday night. One person was killed and crews are still searching for two employees who are missing.

UW Hospital spokesperson Emily Kumlien says five patients were take to UW Hospital. Four of them are in the burn center and the other one is in the trauma and life support center.

The Columbia County Sheriff says a total of 16 employees were at the plant at the time. Two people were able to escape without being injured. The 14 others include the person killed, the two employees still missing and 11 others who were transported to area hospitals.

Authorities could not tell us which hospitals the rest of the patients went at this time.

The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are helping the families of the victims

********

UPDATE (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has issued alternate routes around the scene of an explosion in Cambria.

They say all lanes of State Highway 146, both directions, are blocked at Cemetery Road. Authorities say northbound traffic should take Highway 16 to US 151 to Highway 73. Then take 73 to Highway 33 west back to 146. Southbound traffic should reverse these directions.

UW Hospital has confirmed with 27 News they are treating five patients from the explosion. Those five people were airlifted to the hospital. No word on their conditions.

*****

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards more than a dozen people were injured and at least one person was killed in an explosion in Cambria.

There were at least 16 employees working at the time at Didion Milling plant. Two were able to get out safely and the others were not. The sheriff says there are also two known employees still missing at this point.

Crews are still trying to determine how secure the building is. A Didion family spokesman says their teams are very close and they're asking for prayers for the workers and their families.

********

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Cambria Village President Glen Williams tells 27 News the fire at the Didion Milling Plant has now been contained. There were no evacuations in the area and Williams says there is no threat from chemicals or fumes that he is aware of.

Williams says the plant runs 24 hours a day and there were people working at the plant at the time of the explosion, but at this point, he did not have details on how many employees were on site.

He says the Didion Milling plant processes corn and byproducts for industries all over the world. 

"It's going to be a big blow the community. Both with the shock of the situation and economically. There will be a lot of people who are going to struggle with employment at least for the time being until they can get the plant running again," Williams said.

********

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards confirms there was an explosion at the Didion Milling plant in Cambria.

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

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

Richards says families are being asked to go to the Cambria Highway Shop at 119 E. Second Street while the search continues for missing loved ones.

Cambria Village President Glen Williams says the call came in around 11 p.m. and shook the community.

"I don't want to say it sounded like a sonic boom.... but it was loud, a startling sound" Williams said about the noise.  "The power went out immediately, so it got the attention of everyone, everywhere," he added.

"We're just getting to the point that Salvation Army and Red Cross has arrived," Williams said.

Williams says the community is being urged to stay away from the scene and he does not know whether school later this morning will be impacted by the explosion.

Cambria Community Ambulance Service says multiple burn injuries have been reported. It says more than three medevac flights have been sent to the scene.

The state Department of Transportation says the north and southbound lanes of Highway 146 between Highway 33 and Highway 16 are closed.

********

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Dispatchers in Columbia County say they received a report about an explosion at the Didion Milling plant in Cambria.

According to the Didion website, the facility on Highway 146 in Cambria is an ethanol plant.

Firefighters from the Cambria Fire Department have not confirmed there was an explosion, but have told 27 News to tell everyone to stay away from Highway146.

The Madison Fire Department tells 27 News it is sending its rescue team to the scene.  The Dodge County Sheriff's Office also confirms it has deputies providing traffic assistance in the Cambria area.

********

CAMBRIA (WKOW) -- Alliant Energy is reporting multiple power outages in the Columbia County village of Cambria.

The company's website shows at least 15 outages in the village, adding up to at least 130 customers. The website does not list a cause of the outages.

27 News reached out to the Cambria Fire Department about the cause of the outages, but were only told that we should tell people to stay away from Highway 146.

27 News is following this developing story and we'll continue to post updates as we get them.

Powered by Frankly