EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KTVI) – Six people died and another was injured Friday night in the Amazon facility collapse caused by a tornado that struck in Edwardsville, Illinois.
Another 45 people got out safely.
Edwardsville Fire Chief James Whiteford said both sides of the warehouse used to prepare deliveries collapsed inwards and the roof tilted.
Authorities received reports of workers being trapped and the fire department arrived within six minutes, according to Whiteford. Police helped pull people out of the rubble.
Whiteford said the crew will search the wreckage for several days, but considering the considerable damage, authorities do not expect to find any more survivors. Rescue operations have now turned to recovery operations.
Authorities have not released the names of the victims.
The damage is huge; Steel supporting structures were exposed after walls and roofs fell.
“These walls are made of concrete 11 inches thick and about 40 feet high,” said Whiteford.
The National Weather Service survey showed damage consistent with an EF-3 tornado. However, the survey is ongoing and the tornado’s rating may increase.
According to Amazon, the Amazon facility, of three in Edwardsville, is a 1.1 million square foot “delivery station” employing about 190 workers in multiple shifts. The facility, which opens in July 2020, prepares “last mile delivery” orders for customers. Edwardsville is a short walk from St. Louis about 25 miles northeast.
Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their loved ones and all those affected by the tornado. eddy. “We are continuing to support our employees and partners in the region.”
When a site receives a tornado warning, all employees will be notified and directed to move to a shelter, Amazon said.
But company officials declined to answer specific questions about when the employee was warned.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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