Friday night saw tragedy strike across multiple central U.S. states, causing numerous fatalities and hospitalizations. Now, after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos issued his statement regarding the death of six Illinois employees, satellite images capture the before and after of the Friday night storm’s devastation.
With three buildings occupying the Amazon property, the tornado-ravaged the location’s East-most building, completely flattening its right side. According to Insider, which published a color photo of the property the day before and one after the tornado, 150 yards of the building was demolished when both sides of the structure collapsed inward and caused the roof to cave in.
As reports have stated, the Amazon facility had been in the middle of a shift change when the tornado struck. Therefore, a personnel headcount remains unavailable.
That said, the outlet reports emergency personnel doesn’t expect to find any survivors. Efforts made to navigate the destruction have simply become recovery missions. Edwardsville, IL Fire Chief, James Whiteford, stated the recovery efforts will ensue during daylight hours over the next several days.
Of the disaster itself, the storm which struck the central region of the country Friday spurred a multitude of tornadoes. That is, in addition to the one that struck IL’s Amazon facility. Meteorologists suspect one tornado, the “Quad State Tornado,” may have set the record for the longest continuous tornado in history.
Bezos Faces Backlash Regarding Response to Amazon Fatalities
The six Amazon fatalities in IL are among many that took place across the rest of the country’s central region. However, tragedy is a tragedy, and Jeff Bezos acknowledged the deaths of the employees on social media 24 hours following the event. But regardless of his “heartbroken” status, the Amazon founder faced backlash as he addressed the success of the Blue Origin flight prior to addressing the deaths of his employees.
Specifically, Bezos statement regarding the IL tragedies read, “The news from Edwardsville is tragic. We’re heartbroken over the loss of our teammates there, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones.”
In response to the event and the company’s handling of it, Bezos continued, “All of Edwardsville should know that the Amazon team is committed to supporting them and will be by their side through this crisis. We extend our fullest gratitude to all the incredible first responders who have worked so tirelessly at the site.”
While the statement appears genuine, Twitter followers were “sickened” by the delay in Bezos’s response.
The statement regarding the 6 employee deaths came following a strikingly different Twitter post capturing the Blue Origin flight crew. Bezos wrote beneath the photo, “Happy crew this morning in the training center…”
Online response was not positive. “It’s really sickening if you want my honest opinion,” one Twitter user wrote. At the time, “Jeff Bezos has said absolutely NOTHING on the lives lost at his facility in Illinois…But sure, go play wannabe space men for 10 minutes. Unreal.”
For now, Outsider awaits to hear further reports both from the Amazon facility recovery efforts as well as other rescue and recovery missions across the central U.S.