Amazon warehouse collapse kills two employees

The police in Edwardsville, Ill., said there were at least two “confirmed fatalities” at an Amazon warehouse after a direct hit from a tornado caused a major portion of the building to collapse on Friday night, leaving “catastrophic damage to a significant portion” of the building.

At least 100 emergency vehicles descended on the scene Friday night to reports of workers trapped inside the warehouse located about 25 miles east of St. Louis. A wall that was about the length of a football field collapsed, as did the roof above it. 

Three people were rescued from the building, and one of them was taken to a hospital, said Mark Mayfield, a captain with the Edwardsville Fire Department.

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Sarah Biermann said she last talked to her husband, Amazon employee Austin McEwen, at about 8 p.m. Friday when he was dropping off his van. That was roughly a half-hour before the storm hit. She said she hadn’t heard from him since and that calls just go to voicemail.

“I decided to come down here to see what was going on and I had no idea the building looked that bad. And I’m just worried sick,” Biermann said, adding that she couldn’t get ahold of anybody including managers.

“The safety and well-being of our employees and partners is our top priority right now,” Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha said in a written statement Friday night. “We’re assessing the situation and will share additional information when it’s available.”