Multiple deaths were confirmed after a tornado hits Amazon warehouse, this is so pathetic, especially happening by this time of the year.
Following catastrophic weather and tornadoes that raced across the Midwest and South on Friday night, an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, collapsed. At least six deaths have been confirmed, according to Reuters, while a handful of workers remain unaccounted for.
The collapse was described as a “mass casualty” disaster on the Collinsville Emergency Management Agency’s Facebook page in Illinois. It then updated with a photo of the aftermath of the storm, which showed a big chunk of the warehouse entirely destroyed by the storm.
Police Chief Mike Fillback told reporters during a press conference this morning that authorities have had problems determining “how many personnel we actually had at that facility at the time since it’s not a set staff.” Amazon management was on hand to assist in compiling a list of accounted-for employees, but Fillback points out that it’s still unclear how many people are still trapped inside the collapsed structure.
At least 45 people are said to have made it out of the facility safely, according to Reuters. Others were able to leave the site on their own, while others were brought by bus to a secure location and reunited with relatives (via NBC News). Authorities estimate that 110 workers were inside at the time, according to NBC News. It’s unknown how many people were in the building at the time
“Right now, our main priority is the safety and well-being of our employees and partners,” Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha told The Verge. “We’re reviewing the issue and will provide updates as they become available.”
The catastrophic storms didn’t just hit Illinois; they hit the rest of the country as well. According to NBC News, 70 people are predicted to die in Kentucky, while one person was killed in Arkansas after a potential tornado struck a nursing facility.
In a tweet sent out Saturday morning, President Joe Biden stated that the government is “working with Governors to ensure they have everything they need while they search for survivors and damage assessments continues.”
On Saturday night, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos responded to the event on Twitter. “Everyone in Edwardsville should know that the Amazon team is committed to helping them and will be there for them during this crisis,” he wrote. That morning, Bezos was in Texas for the launch of his spaceflight company’s rocket, which carried six people into space, including former NFL star Michael Strahan.
“It was unconscionable to force workers to work during such a serious tornado warning event,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union. “This is yet another egregious example of a firm prioritizing profits over the health and safety of its employees, and we will not tolerate it.”