The partial collapse of an Amazon building in Baltimore during a storm killed two workers. Neither of the men worked directly for Amazon, although they were inside the company’s distribution warehouse when it collapsed in severe weather. Authorities are investigating the structural failure, which is a reminder of how catastrophic even partial building collapses are.
50-Foot Wall in Amazon Distribution Warehouse Collapsed in Storm
The Amazon warehouse suffered a partial collapse when a 50-foot wall fell in the middle of a severe storm in Baltimore on Friday, November 2. The warehouse was a fulfillment center for Amazon, although the men who died were both third-party contractors.
The day after the storm, the National Weather Service noted that an EF-1 tornado caused the damage in Baltimore. The tornado hit land at 9:42 p.m. on Friday, blowing over a tractor-trailer and pulling off part of the Amazon facility’s roof. It also moved trucks and sent debris flying through car windows. Winds reportedly reached 100 miles per hour and took the roof off a nearby apartment complex.
According to investigators, the first man was found on Friday night buried by debris. Officials later pronounced him dead. Rescuers found the second man’s body early Saturday morning.
The Amazon building collapse victims are Israel Espana Argote and Andrew Lindsey. Fortunately, there were no other deaths and no other injuries reported in the wall failure.
The two men are the first to die in tornadoes in Maryland since 2002.
Victims of Amazon Building Collapse Remembered
37-year-old Israel Espana Argote died in the Amazon wall collapse. He owned a trucking company and hauled merchandise from the Amazon Baltimore facility. Espana Argote leaves behind his wife of 10 years and three sons between the ages of 10 and 5. Espana Argote went in to work early that fateful evening so he could attend his son’s soccer game the next day.
A family friend who knew Espana Argote was at the Amazon facility let Espana Argote’s wife, Fatima Parada Espana, know he was missing. She drove to the facility to warn responders that her husband was onsite but had not been located. By that point, responders had already found the first victim but were not aware anyone else was not accounted for.
“Then they said they were bringing in different equipment to move a big wall,” Parada Espana said. “I asked if my husband was in that spot, what were the chances that he’s alive. The man said, let’s think he’s not there. Let’s stay positive.” please post in slightly larger font
Parada Espana remembered her husband as a great dad who adored his family. Family friends said they are still in shock about the death.
54-year-old Andrew Lindsey worked for a real estate consulting firm as a material handling technician.
Amazon Wall Collapse “Sounded Like Bombs”
Brandon McBride was at the Amazon facility during the tornado and was inside when he and a co-worker heard loud noises and the building’s power suddenly shut off. McBride described the moments surrounding the wall collapse.
“I was standing inside the building and me and one of the facilities dudes were talking, and I went to the left side of the building and he went to the right, and all of a sudden, we just heard these loud noises,” McBride told WBAL. “The power shut off. It was just crazy inside. It just sounded like bombs were dropping everywhere. The whole side (of the building) was just dropping.” please post in slightly larger font
After the wall collapsed, McBride said, rain began pouring into the building, soaking the packages inside.
Meanwhile, Dave Oster, who works at Amazon, was in his car as the storm hit the building. He described it as being similar to the tornadoes he experienced in Colorado and said he was concerned that the winds were strong enough to move cars.
Officials are investigating what caused the wall in the Amazon facility to collapse.