Fire official: Second man found dead in partial building collapse at Southeast Baltimore Amazon warehouse

and Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Baltimore firefighters recovered the body of a second man Saturday from the Amazon distribution warehouse in Southeast Baltimore which partially collapsed the night before.

Chief Roman Clark said that a 50-foot wall collapsed at the Amazon Fulfillment Center as a storm swept through the area. He said one man was found under debris Friday night and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Clark said a second man who was unaccounted for Friday night was recovered around 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Clark said firefighters used heavy equipment to remove debris, including concrete to locate the second man.

An Amazon official said the two people killed weren't employees of the online retail giant, but worked for an outside company.

The victims names are being withheld pending notification of family. No other injuries were reported.

Clark said the department will remain at the building Saturday.

“It’s still an active scene right now. We’re going through the rest of the debris to be sure no one else is there,” he said.

An Amazon spokeswoman said Saturday morning that the building was closed.

“Last night, severe weather impacted one of our facilities in Baltimore City resulting in two fatalities. First responders remain onsite assessing the damage. The safety of our employees and contractors is our top priority and at this time the building remains closed,” said spokeswoman Rachael Lighty in a statement.

“We are incredibly thankful for the quick response from emergency services. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families impacted by last night’s tragic event.”

Images taken from outside the facility showed a badly damaged truck and a knocked over light pole, among other damage.

Roads around the facility were filled with debris. On nearby Interstate 95, on the north side of the Ft. McHenry tunnel, a tractor trailer also overturned.

Luis Rosa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said they planned to send a survey team Saturday to evaluate the damage.

Two survey teams are expected to evaluate the area near the Amazon center, as well as Mount Airy, which also experienced severe storm damage, to determine whether a tornado touched down, said Cody Ledbetter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Sterling, Va.

A determination would likely be made Saturday afternoon, he said.

If a tornado is confirmed, the deaths would be the first tornado-related deaths in Maryland since 2002. Three people were killed after an F5 twister hit La Plata.

Gov. Larry Hogan said in a Tweet Saturday morning that the Maryland Emergency Management Agency is assisting in cleaning up damage.

“My sincerest condolences go out to the families and friends of the victims, and our administration stands ready to assist Baltimore City and other areas impacted by this severe weather in any way we can,” Hogan wrote.

In Baltimore County, officials reported that fire and emergency management units responded to the 1600 block Four Georges Court in Dundalk, where roofs had blown off two apartment buildings. Officials said on the county’s emergency management Twitter account that there were no reports of injuries, but several tenants were displaced and that the Red Cross would assist those people.

And in Carroll County, a storm dumped rain and brought high-velocity winds to Mount Airy just before 8:30 p.m. Residents reported trees and wires down and damage to buildings.

At the T.J. Maxx & HomeGoods store in the Twin Arch Shopping Center, sections of ceiling collapsed, said Doug Alexander, spokesman for the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Co.

Three minor injuries were reported, but all refused EMS treatment and transport, Alexander said. There appeared to be minor damage to the exterior of the building but nothing serious structurally, he said.

Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Scott Dance and Catalina Righter contributed to this article.

This story will be updated.

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