Didion Officials Face Federal Indictment In 2017 Plant Explosion

(Cambria) A federal indictment has come down against the Didion Milling plant in Cambria related to an explosion that killed five people and injured 14 others in 2017.

A grand jury has charged the company along with Vice President of Operations Derrick Clark, Food Safety Superintendent Shawn Mesner, Environmental Manager James Lenz, and Environmental Coordinator Joseph Winch, as well as two, dayshift superintendents. Charges include Fraud Conspiracy, two counts of Willful OSHA Violation Causing Death, Conspiracy to Commit Federal Crimes, Document Falsification in Contemplation of a Federal Investigation, False Entries in EPA Records, and Two Counts of Obstruction of Agency Investigations.

The 36-page indictment states that Didion Milling failed to create and carry out a plan to prevent and remove combustible grain dust accumulation. It also alleges the company failed to properly maintain equipment to control ignition sources. No court dates have been scheduled.