Six workers, including at least one Navy veteran, were killed when an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, was destroyed by a tornado on Friday night, Dec. 10.
The victims’ names were provided by the Edwardsville Police Department after Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn positively identified them.
Among the victims is Etheria Hebb, 34, a single mother who left behind a 1-year-old son, Malik.
Tiara Hebb, Etheria’s sister, said. “She was the sweetest, kindest person ever. She was such a beautiful soul,” she said. “She was the life of the party and always did everything for everyone. She always checked on everyone.”
Another of the victims was Clayton Lynn Cope, 29. He was a six-year veteran of the U.S. Navy. “He loved to hang out with his friends,” his mother told CNN. “He was big-hearted; he would do anything for anybody.”
The Amazon warehouse was hit by an EF-3 tornado with top speeds of 150 mph, resulting in fatalities due to structural failure.
According to Fire Chief James Whiteford, at least 45 personnel were rescued from the facility, Daily Wire reported.
The city claims that the recovery work is still underway. The Fire Department is still clearing debris from the location and working with Amazon representatives to track down its employees.
Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson, has issued a new statement regarding the tragic weather event:
“We’re deeply saddened by the news that members of our Amazon family passed away as a result of the storm in Edwardsville, IL. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones, and everyone impacted by the tornado. We also want to thank all the first responders for their ongoing efforts on the scene. We’re continuing to provide support to our employees and partners in the area.”
The victims are as follows, according to WKYC-TV:
- Deandre S. Morrow, 28, of St. Louis, Missouri
- Kevin D. Dickey, 62, of Carlyle, Illinois
- Clayton Lynn Cope, 29, of Alton, Illinois
- Etheria S. Hebb, 34, of St. Louis, Missouri
- Larry E. Virden, 46, of Collinsville, Illinois
- Austin J. McEwen, 26, of Edwardsville, Illinois