Friday night’s series of deadly Midwestern tornadoes tore apart an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, leaving two dead and an unknown number of others trapped in the rubble, according to reports.
The warehouse, about 15 miles east of St. Louis, was one of many buildings damaged overnight when a series of powerful tornadoes ripped through five states, killing at least 70 and leaving hundreds of miles of destruction in its wake.
Search and rescue operations were underway early Saturday amid the rubble of the facility in Edwardsville, Illinois.
“It’s still an active scene,” local Police Chief Mike Fillback told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Emergency vehicles surrounded the scene in Edwardsville, and drone footage from local news outlet Riverbender showed the building sustained significant damage.
A wall the length of a soccer field collapsed in the five-year-old warehouse, as did the roof over it, the Post-Dispatch reported. About 50 people are believed to be working when the tornado struck around 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Among them was Clayton Cope, a maintenance worker whose mother confirmed to Fox 2 St. Louis who was among the victims.
About 30 people who were in the building were rescued and taken by bus to a nearby police station for evaluation, Edwardsville Police Chief Mike Fillback said. “It’s still an active scene,” he said.
Two people were airlifted to hospitals in St. Louis for treatment, Fillback said.
Another tornado touched down near Defiance, Missouri, which is in St. Charles County. There, at least one person died and two others were injured. Houses were destroyed in a wide swath of the region.