Officials in Edwardsville, Illinois, say rescuers are facing a huge challenge in finding workers missing at an Amazon warehouse that partially collapsed in inclement weather.
“It was a complete disaster,” Sheriff Mike Fillback said at a news conference Saturday morning.
Fillback confirmed that at least two people have died and that rescue efforts are proceeding slowly for the safety of first responders. “You have concrete, and you have things hanging,” Fillback said. “It’s quite windy outside so things are not stable.”
Fillback said dozens of people were able to leave the scene without serious injuries, though an exact number could not be given as some were able to walk away without assistance.
Officials won’t speculate on how long rescue operations will continue, but the cleanup won’t be over anytime soon. “This will happen over the next few days,” said Edwardsville Mayor Art Risavy.
Amazon spokesman Richard Rocha called the situation a “horrific tragedy.”
“Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies are with the victims, their loved ones and all those affected. This is a terrible tragedy for our Amazon family, and our focus is on supporting our employees and partners,” Rocha said in a statement.