Amazon to rebuild Illinois warehouse after deadly tornado

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Gregg Smith, founder of Evolution VC Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in cultural technology companies, argues the move would create “tremendous value” for shareholders.

Amazon announced it was rebuilding its warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, which collapsed after a deadly EF-3 tornado over the weekend.

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Six employees at the 1.1 million square foot e-commerce facility were killed on Friday while another person was hospitalized with serious injuries, according to Edwardsville Police Department. The seven people took shelter on the south side of the building during the storm.

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Officials stressed that anyone else who was on the property during the incident will be held accountable and that the crews will continue to clear debris from the site. About 45 people made it safely out of the building.

Workers remove debris from an Amazon fulfillment center in Edwardsville, Illinois after it was hit by a tornado on December 11, 2021. (Photo by TIM VIZER / AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The six deceased are 28-year-old Deandre S. Morrow and 34-year-old Etheria S. Hebb from St. Louis, Missouri; Kevin D. Dickey, 62, of Carlyle, Illinois; Clayton Lynn Cope, 29, of Alton, Illinois; Larry E. Virden, 46, of Collinsville, Illinois; and Austin J. McEwen, 26, of Edwardsville, Illinois.

“We’re reaching out to families and thinking about what we can do for them,” said John Felton, Amazon’s senior vice president of global delivery services, during a press conference Monday. “All of our employees get paid time off, but we’re also adding rental cars, Lyft gift cards, and helping this community. We will rebuild this site. “

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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has issued a disaster proclamation for districts in central and southern Illinois that were affected by the storm. He added that it is currently investigating whether the Amazon facility had any structural issues prior to the collapse.

In addition, a spokesman for the Ministry of Labor confirmed to FOX Business that the labor protection agency has opened an investigation into the incident.

“OSHA has had compliance officers in the complex since December 11th to provide assistance,” the spokesman said. “OSHA has six months to complete its investigation, issue quotes, and propose fines if occupational safety and / or health code violations are found.”

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Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel told the news conference that the building was “built in accordance with regulations” and that the company will return to ensure its policies and practices are in line with any new information obtained from investigations into the catastrophic event were won.

Nantel told Fox News on Sunday that he doesn’t think the incident will significantly affect the company’s shipping operations for the holidays. Amazon is working with local and state officials to support the rebuilding effort and announced it will donate $ 1 million to the Edwardsville Community Foundation.

Over $ 7,000 has also been raised for the Amazon Worker Tornado Fund, which donates 100% of its earnings to Amazon employees and their families affected by the Edwardsville Tornado.

Fox News Austin Westfall contributed to this report

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