The body of Pawel Tordoff, 21, was recovered from the Didion Milling explosion site on Sunday. Duelle Block, 27, and Robert Goodenow, 53, were also killed in the May 31 blast. Eleven people were injured.
Didion Milling, located in Cambria, Wisconsin, processes corn and corn by-products for ethanol plants. At the time of the explosion, a crew of 16 was inside the lab building, only two of them made it out safely. Of the 11 who were injured, four are receiving treatment in the burn unit at the University of Wisconsin- Madison two are in comas, one had both legs amputated. “It was like a bomb went off, ” a witness told FOX 6 TV.
Prior to the explosion, Didion had safety violations, according to records the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) website. In 2014, inspectors noted fall risks twice; in 2013, a dust explosion risk; an amputation incident in 2012 and dust explosion risks twice in 2010.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigative team is conducting interviews of witnesses and company managers and executives. It is also documenting the scene for further analysis. CSB is the federal agency that investigates industrial chemical accidents, looking for the causes and contributing factors. The goal is to determine if the explosion could have been prevented. This information is then used to prevent similar incidents at other facilities. We anticipate that the investigation will take months. CSB will issue a final report when it has finished its work.
When a chemical explosion at a workplace results in the death of a loved one, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim. This depends on whether a company other than the employer can be found legally responsible. The lawsuits help families who have suffered great loss find answers and justice.