The girlfriend of one of the victims was killed after tornado lead to the downfall of a Amazon warehouse in Illinois announced that her boyfriend had been asked by the company to stay there and not drive home until the storm had passed.
Army veteran Larry Virden, 46, was one of six people killed Friday night after a tornado tore through a large part of the massive earthquake Amazon’s facility in Illinois.
Cherie Jones, Virden’s girlfriend of 13 years, told New York Post on Sunday that her boyfriend’s last text to her was nearly 16 minutes before the tornado hit the facility.
“I got a text from him. He always talks to me when he’s loading his Amazon truck when he’s getting ready to head back… I said like ‘Okay, I love you.’ He said, ‘well done Amazon won’t let me leave until the storm has passed,'” Mrs. Jones recalls.
She said Virden had “20 minutes to go home” because The tornado didn’t touch down until 8:39 p.m that night. She added that the couple lived in Collinsville, about 13 minutes by car from the warehouse.
“I texted him and that was the last text I got from him,” she blurted out. “I told him then [that] where we lived, it was just a flash of lightning. After that, I got nothing from him.”
Virden has been with Amazon for the past 5 months after serving in Iraq. Authorities had previously informed the family that they had found Virden’s wallet and work ID, but nothing else, according to a report published by the KTVI FOX 2 network, an affiliate of Fox Broadcasting. , on Saturday.
The couple has three children aged 9 to 12 and he has also adopted another child.
Ms. Jones said her boyfriend was hit by a rocket explosion right in front of him in Iraq, just 200 meters away, but escaped unharmed.
“When he was there, he made peace with the producer so he was prepared to die. But we don’t want him dead now,” she said.
When asked by Post if she thinks Amazon is responsible for Virden’s death, Ms. Jones said: “Not really. But that’s the hypothetical situation: what if they let him go? He may have come home.”
About 150 yards of the Amazon facility in Illinois collapsed as a result of the tornado.
Tragedy has placed the e-commerce giant under new supervision about workplace activities, including past history, in which workers were sometimes prevented from keeping their cell phones while at work.
The company has withdrawn this worker ban policy from placing their phones on warehouse floors and said it will allow employees and drivers to have their cell phones on the job to provide emergency alerts, reports Bloomberg.
“After these deaths, there is no way I would have to rely on Amazon to keep me safe. If they come up with a no cell phone policy, I will resign,” an unnamed Amazon employee at a nearby facility told the business portal.
“We are deeply saddened by the news that members of our Amazon family have passed away as a result of the hurricane in Edwardsville, IL,” Amazon said in a statement of the deaths in the warehouse. The Independent.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and everyone affected by the tornado. We also want to thank all of the first responders for their ongoing efforts in the field. We are continuing to provide support to our employees and partners in the region,” it said.
At least 90 people are presumed dead in Kentucky alone after tornado tore through six states of the United States, according to state governor Andy Beshear.
He said it “will eventually be the longest tornado in US history, from the moment it hits down to when it finally picks up again.”
chairperson Joe Biden on Sunday declared the tornadoes a major federal disaster in the state after Mr. Beshear formally requested the declaration.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/amazon-warehouse-worker-tornado-illinois-b1974778.html US tornado: Woman claims Amazon told boyfriend to stay because tornado took his life