'I'm so scared': Amazon worker called 911 while trapped under Illinois warehouse rubble
The workers were taking shelter inside a bathroom instead of the designated tornado shelter
A 911 call has revealed the horror of Amazon employees who were stuck in an Illinois warehouse as a spate of tornadoes tore through midwest states last week. The tornado with peak winds of 155 miles per hour killed six factory workers in Edwardsville and trapped 100 workers inside on Friday, December 10.
The 911 call, obtained by Business Insider through a public record request from Edwardsville Police Department, revealed that some Amazon warehouse workers were taking shelter inside a bathroom as the tornado tore through the building.
The call has revealed the chaos that was experienced by the workers trapped inside as the storm raged outside.
One of the workers reached out to 911 from the bathroom at the Amazon warehouse just a few minutes after the tornado had passed through. The identity of the caller is not known until now. According to reports, the caller was with two other women in the bathroom and said that the workers had taken shelter in the bathrooms and not in the building's designated tornado shelter.
The three women, all delivery drivers, had arrived at the warehouse at 8 pm and were told to go straight to the bathroom. The women also told that the three of them were the only ones in the women's bathroom as others were in either the men's bathroom or at the center of the warehouse.
After the tornado passed through, the 40 foot and 11-inch walls of the warehouse crumbled and the caller explained that she along with other women were blocked inside and were under rubble.
She said, "I hear other people screaming but I don't know where they are. I'm so scared. Please help me."
Later, the Quartz reported that at-least 45 people escaped the building alive out of which only seven workers worked full time at Amazon. The employees said that they were told to hide in the bathroom about 40 minutes before the tornado hit the city.
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel spoke about the people who passed away and told The Sun, "We're deeply saddened by the news that members of our Amazon family passed away as a result of the storm in Edwarsville, Illinois. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims their loved ones and everyone impacted by the tornado."
She also said, "Emergency response training is provided to new employees and that training is reinforced throughout the year."
The six dead Amazon workers were identified as Clayton Hope, 29, Deandre S. Morrow, 28, Kevin D. Dickey, 62, Etheria S. Hebb, 34, Larry E. Virden, 46, and Austin J. McEwen, 26.