EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — A Friday night storm produced a deadly tornado that ripped through an Amazon facility, killing six of their workers.
The Madison County Coroner, Stephen Nonn, positively identified the victims on Sunday morning, and the Edwardsville Police Department released their names:
- Deandre S. Morrow, 28, of St. Louis, Missouri
- Kevin D. Dickey, 62, of Carlyle, Illinois
- Clayton Lynn Cope, 29, of Alton, Illinois
- Etheria S. Hebb, 34, of St. Louis, Missouri
- Larry E. Virden, 46, of Collinsville, Illinois
- Austin J. McEwen, 26, of Edwardsville, Illinois
An EF-3 rated tornado with tops winds of 150 mph, tracked across the Amazon warehouse where structural failure lead to their deaths.
According to Chief Michael Fillback with Edwardsville Police, walls on both sides of the building collapsed inward and the roof fell down. The concrete walls were 40 feet tall and about the length of a football field, officials say.
The police department says the coroner’s office has disbanded the reunification center at this time, so anyone wishing to report a relative missing from Friday night's events should contact the Edwardsville Police Department at 618-656-2131.
The City says they are continuing the recovery process. The Fire Department is still working to clear debris from the site and working with representatives of Amazon to account for all of their personnel.
A spokesperson from Amazon, Kelly Nantel, released a new statement on the devastating weather event:
“We’re deeply saddened by the news that members of our Amazon family passed away as a result of the storm in Edwardsville, IL. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones, and everyone impacted by the tornado. We also want to thank all the first responders for their ongoing efforts on scene. We’re continuing to provide support to our employees and partners in the area.”
If you're looking to directly help the families impacted by Friday night's deadly tornados, GoFundMe's crisis response team is working to verify those fundraisers.
"Austin was a beautiful soul, loved by all who met him," the GoFundMe reads. "He had a wonderful smile and gave big, warm hugs. He was a talented baseball and hockey player. He loved the outdoors and his hunting dogs."
In less than a day since being launched the GoFundMe for Austin has raised more than $16,000, which will go to the McEwen family.