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The Latest: Sheriff: 2nd worker found dead

CAMBRIA, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal mill explosion in southern Wisconsin (all times local):

8 p.m.

A sheriff says a second person has been killed in a corn mill explosion in southern Wisconsin as crews continue to search the debris for a third person still missing.

Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards confirmed the second death at a news conference Thursday evening. Richards also said the cause of the explosion remains unknown.

The names of the victims have not yet been released.

Richards earlier said that 16 employees were inside the plant in the Village of Cambria when the blast occurred.

Cambria Fire Chief Cody Doucette also confirmed that a smaller fire occurred in a different part of the plant on Monday. Doucette says investigators are trying to determine if there was a connection between the fires.

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4 p.m.

Officials are correcting the number of employees they believe were inside a southern Wisconsin corn mill when the facility exploded late Wednesday night.

Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards said early Thursday that 16 employees were inside the plant in the Village of Cambria when it blew up. Village officials said later Thursday afternoon 17 employees were inside. They’ve now revised that number back to 16.

One person has been confirmed killed in the explosion. Two others were still missing Thursday afternoon. Searchers were combing the rubble for them.

Thirteen employees were hurt. Two were treated at the scene. Eleven were taken to area hospitals, including facilities in Portage and Beaver Dam as well as the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.

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3:30 p.m.

Community members in a southern Wisconsin village will hold an evening vigil to mourn the loss of life and injuries from a corn mill explosion.

The village of Cambria said in a news release Thursday that people plan to meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church to pray for victims of the explosion and fire at the Didion Milling Plant. At least one person was killed and a dozen injured in the blast.

Two people who were in the mill at the time remain missing.

The church has become a gathering spot for family members of the victims and volunteers. The release notes that Pastor Kristin Frederich will speak before the vigil about how people can help. A benefit fund has been established.

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3:15 p.m.

A southern Wisconsin school district that shut down after a nearby corn mill exploded plans to resume classes on Friday.

An explosion at the Didion Milling Plant in rural Cambria late Wednesday night killed one person and injured a dozen more. The fire was contained early Thursday but Cambria-Friesland School District officials elected to keep kids home for the day.

Superintendent Timothy Raymond says early childhood through 12th grade is housed in one building about an eighth of a mile from the plant. He says the district decided to shut down Thursday as a precaution in case the fire wasn’t completely extinguished.

Didion employs more than 200 people from around the area. Raymond says his district and surrounding districts plan to coordinate on supplying counselors if students need them on Friday.

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2 p.m.

Authorities say there were 17 people not 16 inside the southern Wisconsin corn mill that exploded late Wednesday night.

Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards initially said Thursday morning that 16 people were inside the facility in Cambria when the explosion occurred. Officials in the Village of Cambria issued a news release later Thursday saying 17 employees were in the mill.

One person was killed and two people remain missing. Two workers were treated and released. Twelve were transported to hospitals via ambulances and medical flights.

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1:35 p.m.

The company that owns the southern Wisconsin corn mill that exploded late Wednesday says it’s unclear what caused the fatal blast.

Authorities say two workers were still missing Thursday after the explosion and fire at the Didion Milling Plant in Cambria that killed at least one person and injured about a dozen others.

Didion Vice President of Operations Derrick Clark released a statement Thursday asking for the community’s prayers, saying the company is a tight-knit family. Clark says the company is working with local police and emergency responders.

He says the cause of the explosion remains unknown.

Federal records show the plant was cited in 2011 for exposing workers to dust explosion hazards. Company officials haven’t returned messages seeking comment from The Associated Press.

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11:15 a.m.

The Wisconsin corn mill where an explosion late Wednesday killed at least one worker was cited by federal safety investigators six years ago for exposing workers to dust explosion hazards.

Records from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration show that Didion Milling Plant in Cambria was cited in January 2011 for exposing workers to hazards associated with dust explosion and other fire hazards. The records say filters in the plant lacked an explosion protective system.

OSHA ordered the mill to correct the problem by April 2011. The records show Didion paid a nearly $3,500 fine and the case was closed in September 2013. OSHA hasn’t cited the plant for anything since.

Didion officials didn’t immediately return messages from The Associated Press on Thursday. OSHA has launched an investigation into Wednesday night’s blast.

Authorities say two workers are still missing and about a dozen other workers were injured.

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9:50 a.m.

Hospitals in southern Wisconsin are treating at least 10 people who were injured in a deadly explosion at a corn mill.

Authorities said Thursday that an explosion and fire late Wednesday at the Didion Milling Plant in Cambria killed at least one person and injured about a dozen others. The small community is about 45 miles northeast of Madison.

Divine Savior Hospital spokeswoman Haley Gilman says the hospital in nearby Portage received six people injured in the explosion. She says one was transferred to the burn unit at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, one was admitted to the intensive care unit and four were treated and released.

University of Wisconsin Hospital spokeswoman Emily Kumlien says five people were air-lifted to her facility. She says four are in the hospital’s burn center, while the fifth is in the hospital’s trauma and life support center. She declined to release further details.

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8:20 a.m.

Recovery crews are searching a mountain of debris for two missing employees after a fatal explosion at a corn mill in southern Wisconsin.

Columbia County sheriff’s officials say the explosion and fire at the Didion Milling Plant killed at least one person and injured about a dozen others.

The blast was reported around 11 p.m. Wednesday. Sheriff Dennis Richards says 16 employees were working at the time, and two remained unaccounted for on Thursday morning.

The blast leveled the corn milling structure at the Didion complex in Columbia, a village of about 770 residents roughly 45 miles northeast of Madison.

Some concrete storage silos are damaged but remained standing.

Village President Glen Williams says about three dozen police, fire and rescue agencies responded to the explosion at the complex, which processes corn for ethanol and other industrial uses.

There was no immediate word on the severity of the injuries or what may have caused the blast.

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7:30 a.m.

Authorities say two people are unaccounted for after a fatal explosion that leveled part of a corn mill plant in southern Wisconsin.

Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards said during a news conference Thursday that 16 employees were working at the time of the blast at the Didion Milling Plant in Cambria, a small community about 45 miles northeast of Madison.

Richards says one person is dead and two people are still missing following the explosion, which was reported around 11 p.m. Wednesday. A sheriff’s dispatcher says 11 people were injured, though no details about the injuries have been released.

Dozens of area police, fire and rescue agencies responded to the explosion at the plant, which processes corn for ethanol. No information has been released about what may have caused the blast.

Schools in the Cambria-Friesland district closed Thursday because of the incident in Cambria, a village of about 770 residents.

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6:10 a.m.

The local sheriff says at least one person is dead and more than a dozen are hurt after an explosion at a corn milling plant in Wisconsin.

Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards says the blast was reported around 11 p.m. Wednesday at the Didion Milling Plant in Cambria, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) northwest of Milwaukee.

Richards tells La Crosse television station WXOW that at least one person was killed and more than a dozen are hurt. He says at least 16 employees were working at the time.

Richards says firefighters and ambulance services, along with medical flights, are responding.

Cambria Village President Glen Williams says the fire was contained by early Thursday, but he says the building was destroyed. Williams says there were no evacuations in the area.

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4:16 a.m.

An explosion at a corn milling plant has rocked a community in central Wisconsin.

Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards tells local news outlets the blast was reported around 11 p.m. Wednesday at the Didion Milling Plant in Cambria.

Richards says firefighters and ambulance services from other communities have responded and he says there have been multiple medical flights.

Cambria Village President Glen Williams told Madison station WKOW that the fire was contained by early Thursday. He says there were no evacuations in the area and there’s no threat from chemicals or fumes that he’s aware of.

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