After a tornado struck an Amazon warehouse, multiple people were reported dead
On Friday night, severe weather and tornadoes ravaged the Midwest and South, including an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. According to Reuters, at least six workers have died, and others remain unaccounted for.
In a Facebook post, the Collinsville Emergency Management Agency labelled the collapse a “mass casualty.” It later updated the post with a picture of the aftermath, showing the storm utterly destroying the warehouse.
“how many people we actually had at that facility at the time because it’s not a set staff.” police chief Mike Fillback said this morning. While Amazon management was on the site to help count the accounted-for employees, Fillback says it’s still unclear how many people are still trapped within the fallen building.
Reuters reports that at least 45 people escaped unharmed. Some were taken by bus to a safe region to be reunited with relatives, while others left on their own (via NBC News). Authorities estimate that 110 workers were inside the building at the time, according to NBC News.
Severe storms hit other states as well. According to NBC News, 70 people died in Kentucky, and one in Arkansas when a potential tornado damaged a nursing facility. “Working with Governors to ensure they have what they need as the search for survivors and damage assessments continue,” President Joe Biden tweeted Saturday morning.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tweeted about it late Saturday night. “The Amazon team is committed to supporting Edwardsville and will be by their side through this crisis,” he wrote. That morning, Bezos was in Texas for his company’s rocket launch, which included former NFL star Michael Strahan.
Working through a serious tornado warning was unforgivable, said Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum. It is unacceptable that the firm prioritises profits over employee health and safety.