Local authorities said on Friday night that Amazon.com Inc. at least two workers were killed when a warehouse collapsed near St. Louis after a tornado and strong storms.
Police Chief Mike Filbeck told reporters that several people were unaccounted for as rescuers were scrambling to find workers who could be trapped at the facility in Edwardsville, Illinois. He said there were about 50 workers in the warehouse at 8:30 p.m. on Friday due to a “weather-related incident.”
At least 30 workers were evacuated by bus, while others may have left on their own, Fillback said. He said it was difficult to get the exact number of workers who could be without an account because there were no “designated employees” in the warehouse.
Drone images taken from the scene showed rescuers picking up large wrecks in the early morning darkness.
Outside, a woman, Sarah Bierman, said she was very worried for her husband, who works in a warehouse.
“I spoke to him at eight o’clock tonight, shortly before I texted him, and he was returning to the warehouse to unload his van,” he told reporters.
“Since then, I haven’t heard from him, I’ve only heard through the news, and we live in Edwardsville; we lost our strength. So I decided to come here to see what was going on and I didn’t know the building looked so bad. And I just; I’m worried, I’m sick, “he said.
An Amazon spokesman said the company was working with first aid workers at the scene.
“We are deeply saddened by the news that Amazon family members have died as a result of the storm,” said spokeswoman Kelly Natel. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and all affected by the storm. We would also like to thank all the first aid workers for their continued efforts at the scene.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritsker tweeted, “My prayers are with the people of Edwardsville tonight, and I appealed to the mayor to provide the necessary public resources.”
The U.S. National Weather Service warned of tornadoes in several states on Friday night, including Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois.