Blood Drives Planned Following Plant Explosion

6/4/17 – As those affected by Wednesday evenings fatal plant explosion struggle to come to terms with life in the wake of the incident that left three dead and eleven injured, there are opportunities for friends, neighbors and others to help. Multiple fundraising efforts are underway through websites like GoFundMe. The village has set up an account at the National Exchange Bank of Cambria. The company has established counseling and expanded an employee assistance program. And now the Red Cross has a series of blood drives scheduled throughout the area beginning tomorrow.


The Randolph Village offices on West Stroud Street will be the site of a blood drive from noon to 5pm tomorrow (Monday). The First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam is holding drive from 11:30am until 5:30pm tomorrow (Monday) and from noon to 5pm on Tuesday. The Landmark at Charleston House in Beaver Dam will host a blood drive on June 19. Three blood drives are planned in Columbus at the Zion Lutheran Church on June 13, Columbus Health and Rehab on June 21 and Columbus Community Hospital on June 29. On June 29, there will also be a blood drive at Edgewood Church in Waupun.  Laura McGuire with the American Red Cross says at this time a sufficient blood supply is available to help meet the needs of those injured by the explosion. The need for blood is constant and although a donation may not go directly to assist with this situation McGuire says should there be a need, giving blood helps maintain the supply for future emergencies.


On Friday, we learned the names of those who lost their lives in the blast that leveled the four-story structure: Duelle Block, a mill operator; Robert Goodenow; a forklift operator; and Pawel Tordoff, a pack operator. Didion Vice President of Operations Derek Clark says the “loss of the three team members is very emotional for everyone and really tore a hole in the heart of the Didion Milling team and the Cambria community.” The State Fire Marshalls Office, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the US Chemical Safety Board are investigating. The cause and the source of the explosion remain unknown.