Two deaths confirmed in Illinois after warehouse collapse during severe storm

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Two deaths confirmed in Illinois after warehouse collapse during severe storm that left hundreds without power and caused widespread damage

Two deaths confirmed in Illinois after warehouse collapse during severe storm

Two warehouse workers are confirmed dead after the collapse of an Amazon fulfillment center in Illinois, officials said on Wednesday.

The Illinois Department of Insurance confirmed to the Guardian that both victims worked at the warehouse located in East Peoria.

The deaths brought the number of people killed across the US in weather-related incidents to six in one day.

Greg Long, an Amazon spokesman, said the East Peoria facility is operational and building deliveries for affected customers.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of those impacted,” Long said.

Fire and police services were dispatched to the suspected collapse around 1pm.

Numerous people were unaccounted for, officials said, at first blaming the collapse on an awning or collapse of the roof.

Around 200 people were inside at the time, and only a handful of them were injured, authorities said.

“I’ve been an inspector with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] since 1976, I’ve never seen anything close to this,” Gordon Wilson, the regional OSHA administrator, told the Associated Press.

According to a spokesperson, the East Peoria facility had been closed and was not delivering packages due to the storm before it sent them into East Peoria.

The deaths come as Illinois is reeling from a severe winter storm that left thousands without power and caused widespread damage across the state.

A 50mph wind gust shattered windows and brought down trees in Toulon, Illinois, when it came down in downtown on Wednesday afternoon. Another high wind storm on Wednesday caused trees to fall in Champaign, Champaign County.

All non-essential non-essential employees at the East Peoria campus will be sent home on Thursday, Amazon said.

The heat and electricity remain out at the warehouse, but authorities said crews were expected to restore power soon.

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