Amazon founder Jeff Bezos issued a statement late Saturday about Friday night’s warehouse tragedy in Illinois, hours after he was blasted on social media for seeming quiet on the topic amid the latest flight of his Blue Origin spacecraft.
“The news from Edwardsville is tragic,” Bezos posted on Twitter after 9 p.m. ET. “We’re heartbroken over the loss of our teammates there, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones.
“All of Edwardsville should know that the Amazon team is committed to supporting them and will be by their side through the crisis. We extend our fullest gratitude to all the incredible first responders who have worked so tirelessly at the site.”
At least six people were killed in an Amazon warehouse collapse after a tornado ripped through Edwardsville, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Fire Chief James Whiteford confirmed Saturday.
AMAZON WAREHOUSE DEATHS CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS AFTER COLLAPSE DURING SEVERE STORM
Dozens of others have been killed in a series of severe storms that struck five states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri.
But Bezos failed to mention his lost employees when he took to social media to applaud the successful landing of another of his space tourist missions.
“Happy crew this morning in the training center,” Bezos said in an Instagram post ahead of the flight that would carry “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan, daughter of Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard and four others who paid for the 10-minute flight to space.
While most of the commentors on his social media platform praised the mission, some pointed to Bezos’ carelessness.
“You should worry about the tornado situation more,” one woman commented.
Another person asked, “Will any of your Amazon workers take flight?”
TORNADO AFTERMATH: AMAZON ‘DEEPLY SADDENED’ BY DEATHS AT WAREHOUSE THAT SUFFERED ‘CATASTROPHIC DAMAGE’
Others took to Twitter to voice their frustrations.
“Really struggling with my rage since Jeff Bezos blasted his major carbon polluting rocket this morning after Amazon workers died in a rare December tornado last night,” one commenter said.
Another woman said, “SHAME ON JEFF BEZOS!!! He was in West TEXAS today! His employees lives were lost! He could have taken a 1 1/2 hour flight to St Louis which is only a 30-minute drive from the airport to visit his poorly constructed climate change Amazon warehouse that was destroyed by a tornado!”
Search and rescue officials are still at the scene of the collapsed building trying to account for those who have not been recovered.
At least 30 people have been pulled from the building after it collapsed at roughly 8:30 p.m. Friday night.
Hours prior to Bezos’ personal statement, an Amazon spokesperson addressed the Illinois tragedy in remarks to Fox News.
“We’re deeply saddened by the news that members of our Amazon family passed away as a result of the storm in Edwardsville, IL,” the Amazon spokesperson said.
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“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones, and everyone impacted by the storm. 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,” the spokesperson added.
Fox News’ Dom Calicchio contributed to this story.
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