Tornados ravaged Baltimore City leaving two dead in the partial collapse of an Amazon fulfillment center. The bodies have been recovered from the wreckage and the names of the deceased released to the public.
The Baltimore Sun provides more details.
“Baltimore Fire Chief Roman Clark said a 50-foot wall collapsed at the Amazon Fulfillment Center on Broening Highway. The man found under debris Friday night was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The body of the second man was recovered around 7:30 a.m. Saturday after firefighters used heavy equipment to remove debris.”
The two who died were not employees of Amazon. Fifty-four-year-old Andrew Lindsey was a material handling technician who had been a contractor for about a year. The second person was 37-year-old Israel Espana Argote. Espana owned a trucking company. According to a friend of the family, he was a father of three.
There was nothing particularly exceptional about the storm itself. The Sun explains.
“Weather service officials spent much of Saturday at the scenes evaluating damage, and later rated both storms EF-1, a low-level tornado but still serious enough to cause significant damage. The Baltimore storm brought winds of up to 105 mph along its 2.5-mile path, officials said.”
Amazon was not the only company to suffer damage. Before reaching the fulfillment center, the storm flipped a tractor-trailer on I95 and blew through the garage doors of a van rental facility.
In Dundalk, the storm paid a visit to the Holabird East apartments. It left at least one building without a roof. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries, only displaced tenants. High’s Dairy Store in Mount Airy lost a canopy to the storm. T.J. Maxx & HomeGoods at the Twin Arch Shopping Center suffered sections of collapsed ceiling.
The two deaths are the Amazon facility were the first due to a tornado since 2002. It was not something anyone could have predicted. There is no indication of negligence on the part of Amazon. This is just one of those tragedies that remind us how dangerous tornados can be, even the ones that are seemingly insignificant in the grand scale.
Amazon has recently been in the news due to disputes over poor treatment of factory workers and low pay. Bowing to pressure, Amazon raised the minimum pay but those other factory worker complaints have not been resolved.
The factory was closed Saturday but is expected to be open again on Monday.