Dozens of workers are reportedly trapped inside the Amazon facility after the storm damaged the building in Edwardsville following Friday night’s severe weather.
There is a search and recovery effort underway.
The collapse happened around 8:33 p.m. at the warehouse near I-270 and Illinois Route 111, according to the Edwardsville Police Department.
FOX 2 spoke with the stepsons of an Amazon worker, who are concerned because they haven’t heard from him.
“Our mother is basically hysterical at this point, trying to find out what’s going on. She’s really worried. We’re worried too,” said Connor Jones. “At this point, I’m starting to get pretty scared that he got hurt or worse.”
As many as 50 to 100 employees were believed to be inside the building, according to Fox 2’s Amelia Mugavero. Later reports said about 40 or more employees had been transferred to a police station after making it out of the building.
Mike Fillback, the department’s public information officer, said rescue efforts could last well into Saturday morning due to the size of the building.
Some workers, who managed to escape the collapse on their own, were taken to a safe location with help from the Madison County Transit Department.
“We were able to transport them to a safe location and reunite them with loved ones or get them assistance,” said Fillback. “We’re still working to identify if there are still other individuals in the building and how to get through the debris in order to get them assistance.”
Several agencies throughout the St. Louis area are helping with the rescue. Authorities are also urging onlookers to avoid the area.
“Be patient with us. Our fire rescue, they’re doing everything they can, and they’ve got to do it in a safe manner,” said Fillback. “They’re not going to leave the scene until everyone is accounted for.”
According to the Associated Press, Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha released the following statement Friday night: “The safety and well-being of our employees and partners is our top priority right now. We’re assessing the situation and will share additional information when it’s available.”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on Facebook that the Illinois State Police and disaster officials were coordinating with local officials in Edwardsville, and he was monitoring the situation.
“My prayers are with the people of Edwardsville tonight, and I’ve reached out to the mayor to provide any needed state resources,” Pritzker said.
It’s unclear how many people are in the building.