On Friday night, a tornado struck an Amazon warehouse in Illinois. At least two people were killed when the roof partially collapsed on the building.
According to the Edwardsville Police Department, the Amazon warehouse was located northeast of St. Louis. Edwardsville Police Chief Michael Fillback said “It’s devastating to see the amount of damage there and to know there were people inside when that happened.” He added that the warehouse was an “utter disaster” and that portions of the building were “completely destroyed.”
The death toll is expected to rise, as police officials disclosed that “Efforts are being made to notify next of kin at this time.” One local resident told CNN affiliate KMOV that a family member had been trapped inside and that emergency response teams were working quickly to free the trapped workers.
Amazon Warehouse Roof Collapse Causes Hospitalizations, Deaths
In a press briefing, Fillback revealed that most of the damage occurred when a wall the length of a football field collapsed around 8:33 PM CST on Friday night. This then caused the roof above the warehouse to collapse.
Fillback said that “at least 2” have been reported dead. One person has been hospitalized. Thirty people have been transferred to the Pontoon Beach police station, but there are still workers who are unaccounted for. Police do not have an exact estimate of how many people were inside the building when it collapsed, or how many people still may be trapped inside the rubble.
The scene is described as an “active search and recovery” at this time.
Many are comparing the devastation to an incident that happened when strong winds tore through Maryland on a Friday night in November 2018. Two people were killed when part of the Baltimore distribution warehouse collapsed. An Amazon spokesperson said that the two men who were killed had worked for an outside company, and no Amazon employees were injured in the storm.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has yet to make a statement at this time.
Tornado Hits 5 States, At Least 50 Dead, Death Toll Rising
— Derek Van Dam (@VanDamCNN) December 11, 2021
As The Blast reported earlier today, at least 24 tornadoes were reported across Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. More than 300,000 people are still without power after isolated tornadoes were accompanied by strong wind gusts and hail.
Kentucky was one of the hardest states hit. Governor Andy Beshear said, “We believe our death toll from this event will exceed 50 Kentuckians, probably end up closer to 70 to 100 lost lives.” He called last night’s severe weather storm “the most severe tornado event in Kentucky’s history.”
Beshear added that the worst destruction was in Graves County, where the town of Mayfield was one of the hardest hit. Beshear stated that “We believe we’ll lose at least dozens of those individuals” of the 110 who were inside a candle factory when the storm hit.