Jeff Bezos smiled wide as he opened the capsule door of the Blue Origin rocket after it landed in West Texas with its six passengers Saturday. He greeted Michael Strahan and the others and welcomed them home. A thousand miles away — in every imaginable way — emergency crews said at least two Amazon workers were dead and dozens were injured after a tornado tore through a warehouse in Illinois.
Scores of people on social media called out the billionaire for not posting anything about the storm damage. Emergency crews said between 50 to 100 Amazon employees were in the building when a football-field-sized section of the roof caved in.
The only social media post Bezos had as of Saturday afternoon was a photo with the six soon-to-be astronauts from the Blue Origin launch site in Texas.
“It’s really sickening if you want my honest opinion,” Twitter user Joshua Dyer posted about the incident. “Jeff Bezos has said absolutely NOTHING on the lives lost at his facility in Illinois after a catastrophic tornado left numerous workers trapped. But sure, go play wannabe spacemen for 10 minutes. Unreal.”
Critics for years have slammed Amazon for the company’s reported working conditions at its warehouses. Former employees have long complained about the grueling working conditions with unreal productivity goals and timed bathroom breaks. It’s something that many people used against the tech mogul as his silence Saturday read as indifference.
“I would be much more impressed with Jeff Bezos if he gave his employees giant Christmas bonuses with that money and stopped making his workers and delivery drivers urinate in bottles because they don’t have breaks to pee. Instead of this weird, phallic midlife crisis space quest,” Meghan McCain tweeted.
Amazon Says ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ With Victims of Storm
Jeff Bezos stepped down as Amazon CEO earlier this year, but he serves as the company’s chairman. While didn’t comment on the storm victims, the company addressed the situation in Edwardsville.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones, and everyone impacted by the storm,” said Kelly Nantel, Amazon spokesperson told Fox News. “We also want to thank all the first responders for their ongoing efforts on scene. We’re continuing to provide support to our employees and partners in the area.”
Death Toll Rising in Kentucky, At Least Five Dead in Other States
Tornadoes and heavy storms touched down in Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. late Friday night and early Saturday morning, reports said. At least five died in Arkansas, Illinois, and Tennessee. And hundreds of thousands are without power still Saturday afternoon.
The worst damage was in Kentucky. Gov. Andy Beshear says the total death toll could go as high as 100 people.
“This has been the most devastating tornado event in our state’s history … The level of devastation is unlike anything I have ever seen,” Beshear told reporters Saturday afternoon.
The roof of a candle factory collapsed in Mayfield, Kentucky, with 110 people trapped inside. Kyana Parsons-Perez posted a Facebook Live video from inside the factory that showed the scope of the devastation.
“All you heard was screams,” she said.