Officials in Edwardsville, Illinois, say rescuers are facing a huge challenge in finding missing workers at an Amazon warehouse that partially collapsed in severe weather.
“It’s an utter disaster,” police chief Mike Fillback said in a press conference Saturday morning.
Fillback confirmed that at least two people were dead, and rescue efforts are going slowly for the safety of first responders. “You have concrete, and you have things hanging,” said Fillback. “It's quite windy outside, so things are unstable."
Fillback said dozens of people were able to leave the scene without serious injury, although it is impossible to give an exact number since some were able to walk away without assistance.
Officials won’t speculate on how long rescue operations will continue, but the cleanup work will not be over soon. “This will be ongoing for the next several days,” said Edwardsville Mayor Art Risavy.
Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha called the situation a "devastating tragedy."
“Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies are with the victims, their loved ones, and everyone impacted. This is a devastating tragedy for our Amazon family and our focus is on supporting our employees and partners," Rocha said in a statement.