Amazon founder Jeff Bezos just shared an image of himself celebrating with the Blue Origin crew despite the damage that was done to an Amazon warehouse after last night’s tornado ripped through Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee.
More than 300,000 are without power when at least 24 tornadoes, accompanied with strong wind gusts and hail, ripped their way through the southern United States in what some are calling the most devastating tornado event in history.
According to the Edwardsville Police Department, the tornado caused at least two people to lose their lives while they were working at an Amazon warehouse east of St. Louis, Illinois.
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 number of fatalities is expected to rise. Police officials disclosed early Saturday morning 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 from neighboring towns were working quickly to free trapped workers from the rubble.
Jeff Bezos Gives No Comment On Trapped Amazon Workers
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Bezos was all smiles in a picture with the Blue Origin crew posted several hours after fatalities at the Amazon warehouse were confirmed. “Happy crew this morning in the training center…” he captioned the snap.
Many fans accused Bezos of being “tone deaf” when people had just lost their lives in the devastating storm.
“You should worry about the tornado situation more,” one wrote.
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe he could acknowledge it instead of patting himself on the back for his ridiculous space flight???” another asked, before adding, “Bezos is busy posting about his relationships with celebrities and his space flight. What a class act.”
“How about at least share condolences,” said another. “Is that a good start?”
“How tone deaf is @jeffbezos to post something like this when people have died in one of his warehouses?” another asked. “Shameful.”
“You think he heard about the warehouse collapse in Southern Illinois last night?” asked another. “This is a wild post after that happened LAST NIGHT LOL.”
“There’s nothing to ‘LOL’ about,” another added. “People are dead, missing, and traumatized. I would hope he gets alerts, but maybe not.”
Wall Collapse Leads To Roof Cave In, Two Dead, More Still Trapped
In a press briefing, officials 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. The wall collapse caused the roof to cave in as well.
Officials added 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.
Recent reports suggest that over a hundred people could have been inside the building at the time, but police have not released an exact number of how many people were inside the building during the storm, or how many people were still trapped inside the rubble.
Emergency crews are still working around the clock in order to free trapped workers.
A similar incident happened in November 2018, when the roof of an Amazon warehouse collapsed in Baltimore, Maryland. Two men were killed in the storm, although an Amazon spokesperson said that the two men worked for an outside company and reported that no Amazon employees were injured in the destruction.
UPDATE: Bezos issued a response over Twitter late Saturday night. You can read his response here.