There is more news concerning the candle factory that was demolished by the tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky.
On Saturday morning, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear revealed that 110 employees were believed to be inside the building when it collapsed and only 40 of those 110 had been rescued.
However, on Monday morning, Mayfield Consumer Products CEO, Tony Propes, revealed that that total was a lot lower. As The Blast previously reported, he stated that only eight employees had passed away and only six individuals were still missing.
However, the Governor is still working to verify that information. In a press conference he gave on Monday afternoon, Beshear asked employees of the candle factory to check-in at His House Ministries Church in Mayfield to make sure that all employees are accounted for. He also asked those employees to call 888-880-8620 if they are unable to find transportation to that location.
“We need to know these people are alive and safe,” he added, as approximately 109 people are still declared missing and 74 people have been confirmed dead throughout the state of Kentucky.
However, there is new information surfacing that candle factory employees were threatened with termination if they tried to leave work before the tornado struck.
Employees Were Told They Would Be Fired If They Left Before The Tornado Struck
NEW: Supervisors threatened to fire candle factory workers if they left hours before deadly tornado leveled their facility, employees say. https://t.co/HzmX0ctBy9
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 13, 2021
According to NBC News, several employees wanted to leave the building when they heard the warning sirens start to go off. However, at least five workers have alleged that their supervisors told them that any employees would be fired if they left their shifts early.
They allege that approximately fifteen workers asked to leave so that they could seek shelter in their own homes, but managers told them that they had to stay and work. Some workers say that they left despite the threat of termination.
One of the workers who asked to leave is McKayla Emery. The 21-year-old woman asked to leave when the tornado sirens sounded outside the factory at around 5:30 PM. However, she was told that she had to stay and work or she would be fired. She was rescued from the rubble and answered questions from her hospital bed.
“People had questioned if they could leave or go home,” said Emery, before adding that she overheard managers telling employees “If you leave, you’re more than likely to be fired. I heard that with my own ears.”
Emery was trapped for six hours and suffered severe chemical burns on her forehead and from the waist down. She sustained kidney loss, her urine is black, and she is still unable to move her legs.
Spokesperson For Mayfield Consumer Products Denies The Allegations
CANDLE FACTORY COLLAPSE: Gov. Beshear says >100 people were working at a candle factory in Mayfield overnight when the roof collapsed killing dozens of people.
Here are before and after photos of the factory
— Julie Dolan (@WLKYJulie) December 11, 2021
Although several employees have said that managers and supervisors would not let them leave the building, Mayfield Consumer Products spokesperson Bob Ferguson called the allegations “absolutely untrue.”
“We’ve had a policy in place since Covid began,” he continued. “Employees can leave any time they want to leave and they can come back the next day.”
He also denied that managers told their employees that they would be fired if they walked off the job. Ferguson said that all supervisors and team leaders followed all guidelines that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had set in place.
On Monday, they released a 24-hour hotline for employees to call with concerns about hazard pay, grief counseling, and other assistance.