Two men were killed in a partial building collapse at an Amazon Fulfillment Center in the US city of Baltimore late Friday in an incident resulting from severe weather, an Amazon executive confirmed Saturday.
The incident occurred at Amazon’s facility BWI5, a sortation centre that opened roughly four years ago and preps packages for shipping, according to Recode. Both of the individuals who were killed were contractors for the company, according to ABC-affiliate WMAR.
The first man was found under some debris and was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead from his injuries.
A second person was also killed as a result of this incident. Both people were third party contractors and not Amazon employees.
Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Roman Clark said that a 50-foot wall collapsed at the facility after a storm descended on the city, according to the Baltimore Sun. The US National Weather Service confirmed Saturday that the city’s storm damage resulted from an EF-1 tornado.
Happening Now: Heavy Damage at Amazon Warehouse Fulfillment Center in Dundalk. Worker says, “a tornado blew through,ripped off side of the building.” Also, witness says a trucker was hurt when high winds toppled his rig.@FOXBaltimore pic.twitter.com/NXRZhcvqab
— Keith Daniels Fox45 (@KeithDFox45) November 3, 2018
Brandon McBride, an employee who was working onsite at the time of the incident, told CNN-affiliate WBAL that he was standing inside the building when he and a facility worker suddenly “heard these loud noises.” He said the power shut off and described the scene as “just crazy inside.”
“It just sounded like bombs were dropping everywhere. The whole side (of the building) was just dropping,” he said.
Dave Clark, Amazon’s SVP of operations, confirmed the deaths in a statement on Saturday on Twitter.
“Last night severe weather impacted one of our Baltimore facilities resulting in 2 fatalities,” he wrote. “Thank you to the emergency response teams who have been working through the night. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by yesterday’s tragic event.”
A spokesperson for Amazon told Gizmodo: “Last night, severe weather impacted one of our facilities in Baltimore City resulting in two fatalities. Our crews remain onsite assessing the damage. The safety of our employees and contractors is our top priority and at this time the building remains closed. We are incredibly thankful for the quick response from emergency services. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families impacted by Friday evening’s tragic event.”
No other injuries were reported by Amazon.