An Amazon Warehouse Building Collapsed, Six People Died

A 155 mph tornado hit Edwardsville, Illinois on Friday night caused major structural damage to the Amazon warehouse building. The building reported collapse and at least six people died, J.B. Pritzker, Illinois Governor, announced during a press conference on Saturday evening.

“My prayers are with the people of Edwardsville tonight, and I’ve reached out to the mayor to provide any needed state resources,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker explained that he had spoken to Amazon and said that the company helps in the recovery efforts.

“I also spoke with Amazon earlier today and implored them to provide every assistance to this community, which they have said they intend to do,” Pritzker added.

According to the Edwardsville Police Department, Edwardsville got struck by the tornado at around 8.30 pm Friday at the warehouse near I-270 and Illinois Route 111. Besides Illinois, deadly tornadoes also happened through Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, which caused at least 79 people to die. Local emergency responders describe this event as a “mass casualty incident.”

Jeff Bezos ripped for ignoring Amazon warehouse tornado collapse

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At the press conference, the officials explained that the search and recovery effort which is expected to take up to 3 to 4 more days is the focus of law enforcement. They also reported that during the collapse 45 Amazon workers had made it out of the building safely.

The Edwardsville Fire Department chief, James Whiteford said the rescue effort faced several complicated factors. He said to avoid more injuries they had to move very slowly and methodically.

“We had some concerns about the safety of our workers because the building was still charged with electrical at that time. In addition to water that was leaking, the mains had broken, so the water was pouring into the building. And then we also had gas leaked from natural gas,” Whiteford explained.

Whiteford further explained that the roof collapsed downward and the walls on both sides collapsed inward in the middle of a shift change in which the number of people was fluctuating at that time and caused him not able to release a clear number of people inside the building when it happened.

“Most of the weight of the building landed centrally into the building, and its walls are made out of 11-inch thick concrete and there are about 40-feet tall. So a lot of weight when that came down,” Whiteford added.

Richard Rocha, an Amazon spokesperson, released a statement, “The safety and well-being of our employees and partners is our top priority right now. We’re assessing the situation and will share additional information when it’s available,” the Associated Press reported.

Later on, Amazon gave a statement on Saturday, “Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies are with the victims, their loved ones, and everyone impacted. This is a devastating tragedy for our Amazon family and our focus is on supporting our employees and partners.”

As of now, the officials are still waiting to release the names of those who died.

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