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11th Dec 2021

Deaths confirmed after Amazon warehouse partially collapses in “mass casualty” incident

Charlie Herbert

Tornadoes have left a trail of destruction across a number of US states.

There have been “confirmed fatalities” at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois after it partially collapsed during a major winter storm, police have said.

A series of tornadoes have been sweeping across the US as a result of the storm on Friday, wreaking havoc in a number of states.

“On December 10, 2021, at approximately 8.33pm, a severe weather event occurred on the west end of Edwardsville resulting in catastrophic damage to a significant portion of the Amazon warehouse located at 3077 Gateway Commerce Center Drive South, Edwardsville, Illinois,” police said in a statement.

“There are confirmed fatalities at the site. Efforts are being made to notify next of kin at this time.

“Search and rescue operations are continuing at this time.”

The Emergency Management Agency of Collinsville in Illinois has called it a “mass casualty incident.”

It is not yet clear how many people were killed or injured.

One official told Fox News affiliate KTVI-TV that over 100 people were believed to be inside the building working the night shift at the time of the collapse.

“My prayers are with the people of Edwardsville tonight, and I’ve reached out to the mayor to provide any needed state resources,” Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker tweeted.

“Our [Illinois State Police] and [Ready Illinois] are both coordinating closely with local officials and I will continue to monitor the situation.”

“The safety and well-being of our employees and partners is our top priority right now,” Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha said in a statement on Friday night.

“We’re assessing the situation and will share additional information when it’s available.”

Along with the collapsed Amazon warehouse in Illinois, at least 50 people are feared dead in Kentucky after the tornadoes.

Governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency after the tornadoes, activating the Kentucky National Guard and the Kentucky State Police, with a candle factory in the state’s roof collapsing in the storm.

Several are feared dead at the facility in Mayfield, with Beshear calling the situation “tragic”, the Associated Press reports.

“There were about 110 people in it at the time that the tornado hit it,” Beshear said.

“We believe we’ll lose at least dozens of those individuals. It’s very hard, really tough, and we’re praying for each and every one of those families.”

There are also reports of at least one death at a nursing home in Arkansas.

Five are said to have been seriously injured as well after a tornado hit the home at about 8.15pm on Friday night, trapping around 20 people in the wreckage.