UPDATED 9:21 AM PT – Sunday, December 12, 2021
At least six Amazon warehouse employees were killed after a series of tornadoes ripped through the Northern Midwest region.
Several people remained unaccounted for in the facility on Sunday, while one person remains at a local hospital in critical condition as rescue officials continue to search through the rubble for more survivors. Reports indicated there were more than 50 employees at the distribution center in Edwardsville, Illinois Friday night, though the shifts were changing and the true number of employees remains unknown.
Reports said the EF-3 tornado caused the facility’s 40-foot high walls to collapse, forcing the roof to cave in.
Video of the tornado that hit the Amazon facility near Edwardsville, IL tonight… from Danielle Henke pic.twitter.com/5CNbJ03VzI
— James Spann (@spann) December 11, 2021
“Earlier this afternoon, the response portion of this incident came to a close, and we’re now focused solely on recovery. Through our efforts so far, we identified 45 personnel who made it out of the building safely,” said Chief James Whiteford of the Edwardsville Fire Department. “One who had to be airlifted to a regional hospital for treatment and six fatalities. We’re continuing to search the site for evidence of life and we’ll continue recovery operations until all personnel are accounted for.”
The tornado was one of more than 30 which ravaged through the Midwest over the weekend, leveling entire towns across six states.