At least fifty people were killed in Kentucky during a tornado, said the governor of this US state Andy Beshear on Saturday.
Watch live: Gov. Andy Beshear holds briefing on storm damage and state’s response. https://t.co/BHK2iUKAMx
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) December 11, 2021
“I fear that there are more than 50 dead in Kentucky (…), we are probably closer to 70 to 100 dead, it’s awful,” he said at a press conference. Several counties in that state have been devastated, he added, adding that the roof collapse of a candle-making factory “has claimed countless lives” in the town of Mayfield. “Before midnight, I declared a state of emergency,” he said.
Hundreds of Amazon workers trapped in warehouse
Victims and damage are also to be deplored in several states in the southeast and south-central United States after the passage of tornadoes on Friday. Amazon employees were trapped on Saturday in a warehouse of the distribution giant ravaged the day before in Illinois. The Collinsville Emergency Management Agency referred to “many people trapped in the Amazon warehouse” after the “mass incident”, with local media citing around 100 people still inside.
The emergency services worked until the early hours of Saturday to try to clear from the installation, a third of which is nothing more than rubble, these people who worked at night to process orders before the Christmas holidays. No toll of possible victims was advanced for the time being.
“Prayers to the people of Edwardsville”
Illinois Governor JB Pritzer said he addressed his “prayers to the people of Edwardsville” noting that the Illinois Police and Emergency Management Agency “are coordinating their actions closely with local officials.” In a statement to local media, Amazon spokesman Richard Rocha said the “safety and well-being” of Amazon employees and partners was the “top priority” of the group. “We are assessing the situation and will share additional information as it becomes available,” he added.
In Arkansas, one person was killed and 20 were trapped in a nursing home, media reported. But rescuers managed to evacuate the trapped from the building whose structure was “virtually destroyed,” Craighead County official Marvin Day told local news stations. In Tennessee, at least two people were killed in incidents related to the storm, according to an emergency management official quoted by local media.