MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Charges have been filed against a Wisconsin corn milling company for violating worker safety protocols, resulting in the death of five employees.

According to a release, a federal grand jury in Madison filed an indictment against Didion Milling Inc. (DMI), who owned and operated the corn mill in Cambria, Wisconsin. The indictment was also filed against a company vice president, two environmental coordinators and three additional supervisors.

The indictment says DMI was required to regularly clean dust accumulations from inside the mill in order to prevent both food safety and quality issues, and to remove buildup that could fuel combustible dust explosions.

DMI was reportedly required to document the completion of routine cleanings inside the mill and the routine monitoring of air pollution control devices outside of the mill.

The mill is accused of violating two federal safety standards, which lead to the ‘combustible dust explosion’ and ultimately to the deaths of five employees on May 31, 2017.

In total, six people face charges that include:

  • Crimes related to worker safety
  • Fraud
    • By agreeing to take deceptive measures to conceal the failure to adhere to food safety procedures.
  • Air pollution
  • Obstruction of justice

If convicted, DMI may be ordered to pay restitution to victims, fined, and sentenced to corporate probation with conditions.

Some of the more substantive offenses in the indictment have the defendants facing convictions of up to 20 years in prison, and/or possible fines of up to $1 million.

DMI issued the following statement:

What happened on May 31. five years ago was a horrible accident, not a criminal act. While we have cooperated fully with the investigation since day one, we now must respond with a strong, vigorous defense for the company and our team.

Didion Milling Company

Associated Press contributed to this story.