Classes resume in Cambria after plant explosion

Posted at 12:34 PM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 19:21:15-04

Classes at Cambria-Friesland Schools resumed Friday morning.

The district's schools were closed Thursday following the deadly blast at the nearby Didion Milling corn processing facility on Wednesday night.

Two people are confirmed dead and another is still missing. A total of 11 people were injured. 

The district said additional counselors and mental health professionals from surrounding school districts, as well as the American Red Cross, will be at its schools Friday.

The counselors would provide support as needed, the Cambria-Friesland school district said in a Facebook post.

Tim Raymond, Superintendent of Schools, said the district is made up of roughly 400 students.

"When you're that small, something like this touches everyone in every way, shape, or form," Raymond said.

"Everybody needs help right now. It's just a tough time for everybody," said Lindsey Surges, after dropping off her 4-year old son at school on Friday.

She said she was pleased the district had called in extra counselors.

"It's good for the kids, because a lot of these kids are from right here in Cambria," Surges said. "So if they need somebody to talk to, I think this is a good decision."

Raymond added the support staff isn't just for students.

"We've got people on staff who were on site at the explosion," Raymond said. "They were your volunteer firefighters. They were there for the last 36 hours, and they're still coming in to school today."

Graduation at Cambria-Friesland High School will go on tonight, at 7:00 p.m., as previously planned.

But Raymond added some of the same districts that volunteered to send counselors over on Friday also volunteered to host the school's graduation ceremony.

"It just reminds me how wonderful people are. It means a lot," Raymond said.

"Once they shared with us that the plant was safe, that it was secure, we needed to continue moving forward with graduation here," the superintendent said.