Investigation begins as Amazon warehouse in Illinois collapses after it was struck by a tornado, killing six Amazon employees
An Amazon distribution centre was caught up in the spate of deadly tornados that has killed at least 64 people in the US state of Kentucky last Friday.
Tornados also impacted parts of the neighbouring state of Illinois, (below Chicago) and flattened the Amazon warehouse, known as DLI4, located in Edwardsville, Illinois.
Unfortunately the tornado killed six Amazon employees, injuring another, with 45 people being rescued safely.
CNBC reported the National Weather Service as saying that a tornado touched down in Edwardsville at approximately 8:35pm local time Friday.
Walls on both sides of the warehouse collapsed inward, while the roof collapsed downward, Edwardsville Fire Chief James Whiteford was quoted as saying in a news conference Saturday.
Site leaders at the DLI4 warehouse had told employees on duty at the facility to take shelter around 8:16pm. local time, Amazon said.
The tornado likely formed in the parking lot then rolled through the site, Amazon said.
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the deadly collapse at an Amazon warehouse, an agency spokesperson was quoted by CNBC as saying on Monday.
Six workers were killed, one was injured and 45 people were rescued safely, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a press conference Saturday.
OSHA has six months to complete its investigation, issue citations and propose monetary penalties if violations of workplace safety and/or health regulations are found, OSHA spokesperson Scott Allen told CNBC in a statement.
The agency has had compliance officers at the warehouse since Saturday to provide assistance, Allen said.
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told CNBC in a statement: “OSHA investigates all workplace fatalities and we are supporting them.”
Amazon previously said it was working to monitor the situation and support the recovery, including assisting with local relief efforts in Edwardsville.
“We’re deeply saddened by the news that members of our Amazon family passed away as a result of the storm in Edwardsville, IL,” Nantel said earlier on Monday.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones, and everyone impacted by the tornado.”