Six workers who were killed in a tornado that caused the collapse of an Amazon facility in Edwardsville, Illinois, on Friday night have been identified, including at least one Navy military veteran.
A Friday night storm produced a deadly tornado that ripped through an Amazon facility in Illinois, killing six of their workers.
— WKYC 3News (@wkyc) December 13, 2021
Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn positively identified the victims on Sunday morning, and the Edwardsville Police Department released their names. According to WKYC-TV, the victims are:
- Deandre S. Morrow, 28, of St. Louis, Missouri
- Kevin D. Dickey, 62, of Carlyle, Illinois
- Clayton Lynn Cope, 29, of Alton, Illinois
- Etheria S. Hebb, 34, of St. Louis, Missouri
- Larry E. Virden, 46, of Collinsville, Illinois
- Austin J. McEwen, 26, of Edwardsville, Illinois
Kelly Nantel, a spokesperson from Amazon, released a new statement on the devastating weather event, according to the report:
We’re deeply saddened by the news that members of our Amazon family passed away as a result of the storm in Edwardsville, IL. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones, and everyone impacted by the tornado. 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.
The New York Post interviewed Tiara Hebb, sister of Etheria Hebb. “She was the most sweetest, kindest person ever. She was such a beautiful soul,” she said. “She was the life of the party and always did everything for everyone. She always checked on everyone.”
Etheria was a single mother and leaves behind a 1-year-old son, Malik.
Cope was a six-year veteran of the U.S. Navy. “He loved to hang out with his friends,” his mother told CNN. “He was big-hearted; he would do anything for anybody.”
Fire Chief James Whiteford said rescuers saved at least 45 employees from the facility.
He added that rescue crews would continue to search the rubble for several days for survivors, though they were not optimistic about finding anyone else alive, according to a Reuters report.
The Daily Wire previously reported concerning the tragedy:
An Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, collapsed late on Friday night after being hit by severe storms, including tornadoes, that rocked the region.
“One of the tornadoes touched down in Edwardsville. During the storm, multiple agencies responded to a collapse at the Amazon distribution center near I-270 and Illinois Route 111. Officials are confirming fatalities,” Fox 2 Now reported. “Authorities said multiple people are trapped inside the warehouse, and there are reports of possibly 50 to 100 workers at the facility.”
The severe weather was connected to a large stormfront that stretched across several U.S. states last night, generating more than 30 tornadoes that left dozens dead.
— FOX2now (@FOX2now) December 11, 2021
Amazon responded to the incident in a statement, saying:
The safety and well-being of our employees and partners is our top priority right now. We’re assessing the situation and will share additional information when it’s available.
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