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OSHA proposes $1.84 million in fines after Didion Milling plant explosion that killed five

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Federal labor officials say a Wisconsin milling company should pay $1.8 million in fines for failing to prevent a fatal plant explosion earlier this year.

The Didion Milling Co. plant in Cambria exploded on May 31. Five workers were killed.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a news release Friday saying that an accumulation of highly combustible grain dust likely caused the explosion. OSHA officials said the explosion was preventable and proposed $1.84 million in fines.

The company has 15 days to comply with the fine, request a conference with OSHA officials or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Didion released a statement to CBS 58 that read in part:

"Didion does not agree with the severity of the penalties levied against our family-owned business or the conclusions released by OSHA today. We are working with our legal counsel to determine how to address the findings from this federal agency. Regardless of how we address OSHA’s decision, it is our intent to rebuild our corn milling facility in Cambria. As a family-owned company that has operated in the community for more than 45 years, we recognize how important our mill is for creating new jobs and adding economic value to the area, as well as providing an important source of revenue for area farmers, and offering our customers high-quality products."
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