An Amazon driver died while sheltering in the warehouse bathroom when a tornado hit, his colleague said

The collapsed roof of an distribution centre after tornadoes
The site of partially collapsed Amazon distribution center after a tornado in Edwardsville, Illinois.

  • Austin J. McEwen is among the six people killed after a tornado hit an Amazon warehouse in Illinois.
  • Brian Erdmann told Reuters that McEwen was sheltering in the bathroom when it happened.
  • Erdmann said he likely only survived because he was out making a delivery.

An Amazon driver died while sheltering in the warehouse bathroom as a tornado hit Illinois, his colleague told Reuters.

Austin J. McEwen, 26, was one of at least six Amazon employees who died after a wall and a roof collapsed on Friday night, trapping workers inside.

“He was my friend and he didn’t make it,” Brian Erdmann said of McEwen in an interview with Reuters.

Erdmann said he was on his way to the warehouse to make a delivery when the tornado hit, so he was not harmed.

“If I would have got back 45 minutes earlier, I probably would have been at the same place. I would have been right there with him,” he said.

Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Amazon staff have complained about the company’s cellphone ban when speaking to Bloomberg after the disaster.

Multiple tornadoes hit Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

Kentucky has been the most impacted. Gov. Andy Beshear said on Sunday that at least 80 people were killed, and the death toll could exceed 100.

He then said, according to the BBC: “We’re still hoping as we move forward for some miracles to find more people.”

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