Amazon founder Jeff Bezos released a statement Saturday night regarding the warehouse tragedy in Illinois, hours after being criticized on social media for appearing silent on the matter amid the last flight of his Blue Origin spacecraft.
“The news from Edwardsville is tragic,” Bezos posted on Twitter after 9 p.m. ET. “We are heartbroken at the loss of our teammates there, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones.
“Everyone in Edwardsville should know that the Amazon team is committed to supporting them and will be by their side during the crisis. We express our deepest gratitude to all of the incredible first responders who have worked so tirelessly on the site.”
At least six people were killed in an Amazon warehouse collapse after a tornado swept through Edwardsville, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Fire Chief James Whiteford confirmed on Saturday. .
Dozens more have been killed in a series of severe storms that hit five states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri.
But Bezos failed to mention his lost employees when he took to social media to applaud the successful landing of another of his space tourism missions.
“Happy crew this morning at the training center,” Bezos said in a Instagram post ahead of the flight that would transport “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan, daughter of Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard and four other people who paid for the 10-minute flight to space.
While most commentators on his social media platform praised the mission, some pointed to Bezos’ neglect.
“You should be more worried about the tornado situation,” one woman commented.
Another person asked, “Will any of your Amazon employees take off? “
Others have taken to Twitter to express their frustrations.
“I’ve been really battling my rage ever since Jeff Bezos detonated his main carbon-polluting rocket this morning after Amazon employees died in a rare December tornado last night,” one said. commentator said.
Another woman noted, “SHAME ON JEFF BEZOS !!! He was in western TEXAS today! The lives of his employees were lost! Poorly constructed Amazon climate change warehouse that was destroyed by a tornado!”
Search and rescue officials are still at the scene of the collapsed building, trying to explain which ones were not recovered.
At least 30 people were pulled from the building after it collapsed around 8:30 p.m. Friday night.
Hours before Bezos’ personal statement, an Amazon spokesperson addressed the Illinois tragedy in remarks to Fox News.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that members of our Amazon family have died as a result of the storm in Edwardsville, Ill.,” Said the Amazon spokesperson.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and all those affected by the storm. We also want to thank all of the first responders for their continued efforts on site. We continue to support our employees and partners. in the region, “added the spokesperson.
Dom Calicchio of Fox News contributed to this story. Read the rest of this story on FOX Company.