Amazon Official Says 'All Procedures Were Followed Correctly' Prior to Warehouse Collapse

An Amazon official said on Monday that "all procedures were followed correctly" prior to the collapse of an Amazon warehouse in Illinois caused by a tornado.

"As the tornado warnings happened, a take-shelter [warning] happened both in the Northside of the building and the Southside of the building and everything that we've seen, all procedures were followed correctly," Amazon's Senior Vice President of Global Delivery Services John Felton said during a press conference. "The thing I kind of want to emphasize is just the heroic nature of all 46 people that were in the building. They definitely saved lives."

According to Felton, there was a take-shelter location in the Northside of the Amazon facility, located in Edwardsville, Illinois, "where the vast majority of the people were."

"The take-shelter [room] on the Northside of the building was nearly undamaged," he said. "There was a tremendous effort that happened that night to keep everyone safe."

Felton explained that on Friday night, there were 46 people inside the Amazon warehouse, with 39 located on the Northside and seven on the Southside.
During the press conference on Monday, Amazon's Director of Media Relations Kelly Nantel noted that the take-shelter room on the Northside of the building is not a "safe room" but instead "an area of the facility that is safe for people to converge."

"Generally speaking, it's in an area where there are no windows so it's a safer space to be in the building. It is not a safe room," Nantel said.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, Nantel said, "We're deeply saddened by the news that members of our Amazon family passed away as a result of the storm in Edwardsville, Illinois."

The statement continued, "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."

Over the past weekend, a tornado ripped through Illinois and destroyed the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville. The destruction left at least six individuals dead and one other injured.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos also issued a statement on Twitter which said, "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."

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."

Following the incident, Amazon also announced that they will be donating money to those impacted, as well as providing employees of the warehouse with paid time off and other immediate relief services.

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An Amazon official said on Monday that all procedures were followed correctly prior to the collapse of an Amazon warehouse from a tornado in Illinois. Above, recovery operations continue after the partial collapse of an Amazon Fulfillment Center in Edwardsville, Illinois on December 12. Tim Vizer/Getty