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Six dead in collapse of Amazon warehouse hit by tornado in Illinois

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 11:39 PM EST
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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOV/AP) – Six people died after part of the Amazon warehouse collapsed in Edwardsville, Illinois when storms rolled through Friday night, police said.

Edwardsville Police Chief Michael Fillback says it is not known how many people were inside the building when it collapsed around 8:30 p.m. He also said it’s not known exactly how many people are still inside. There is a search and rescue operation underway at the facility.

Fillback said the process could take several more hours. Cranes and backhoes were brought in to help move debris.

The roof of the building was ripped off and a wall about the length of a football field collapsed.

“This is a devastating tragedy for our Amazon family, and our focus is on supporting our employees and partners,” Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha said in a written statement.

Aisha White was on the phone with a family member who was inside the building at the time of the collapse.

“He was on the phone with me while it was happening,” she recalled. “The tornado was hitting the back of the building, the trucks were coming in, I told him to jump out of the truck and duck. We watched the building go up, stuff hitting the cars, I told him I was on my way.”

The National Weather Service says a storm survey indicates an EF-3 tornado hit.

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Copyright 2021 KMOV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.