Midwest tornado: Storm hits Arkansas nursing home and crews respond to reports of injuries at Illinois Amazon warehouse

At least two people were killed Friday night when a tornado reportedly tore through a nursing home in Arkansas, and emergency teams in southern Illinois were also responding to reports of injuries at a nursing home. Amazon warehouse after a roof collapsed in the middle of a storm there.

Judge Marvin Day of Craighead County told the AP news agency that a tornado hit the Monette Manor nursing home around 8:15 p.m., leaving 20 people trapped inside as the building collapsed. Five people were seriously injured, and several others had minor injuries, he said.

“It looks like it’s pretty much destroyed,” Day said of the building. “…It happens quickly but there seems to be a bit of time when tornado sirens will sound.” Several residents were found in the basement “and were prepared for this,” he said.

Emergency crews from Trumann, and police and firefighters from Jonesboro arrived in the area to assist. The nursing home has about 90 beds.

Dates warn residents to shelter in place.

“The worst thing you can do is leave,” Day said.

Footage from the St. Louis shows dozens of ambulances at the Amazon center near Edwardsville, Illinois, a short distance from St. Louis about 25 miles to the west. It was not immediately clear how many people were injured, but the Collinsville, Illinois Department of Emergency Management, on Facebook, called it a “mass casualty incident.” An official told KTVI-TV that up to 100 people were believed to be in the building, working the night shift, at the time of the collapse.

Belleville News-Democrat reports that the Amazon fulfillment center in Edwardsville opened with two warehouses in 2016, covering 1.5 million square feet. Warehouses are used to store items until they are shipped to customers who order by mail.

The collapse was caused by a strong thunderstorm, and possibly a tornado, that tore through the St. Louis. Wind gusts of up to 70 mph were reported in parts of St. Charles and St. Louis in Missouri. At least three St. Charles was hospitalized and several homes in the area near Augusta, Missouri, were damaged.

An email left to Amazon’s corporate office was not immediately returned.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said on Twitter that Illinois State Police and disaster officials are coordinating with local officials in Edwardsville, and he is monitoring the situation.

“My prayers go out to the people of Edwardsville tonight, and I have reached out to the mayor to provide any needed state resources,” Pritzker said.

Hurricanes in Illinois and Arkansas were among several in the Midwest to have reported tornadoes detected or on the ground.

The storms caused additional damage as they passed through Tennessee and into Kentucky. Sarah Burgess, a member of the Kentucky State Police in Mayfield, said several buildings have collapsed in the Kentucky community of southern Mayfield.

Burgess said no deaths have been reported. She said several people were trapped inside a damaged candle factory in Mayfield.

Copyright © 2021 by Associated Press. Copyright Registered. Midwest tornado: Storm hits Arkansas nursing home and crews respond to reports of injuries at Illinois Amazon warehouse

Dais Johnston

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