Two workers killed as wall collapses at Baltimore Amazon facility


Two workers killed as wall collapses at Baltimore Amazon facility

E.P. Milligan

5 November 2018

Two workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland died late Friday after a partial building collapse triggered by a severe weather event.

Both workers were trapped under a layer of rubble after a 50-foot wall fell. The first man was found during debris removal Friday night and transferred to a hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. Firefighters found the second man’s body Saturday morning. The two men were identified Saturday as Andrew Lindsey, 54, and Israel Espana Argote, 37.

Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore

Rather than being simply a freak accident triggered by an unusually strong storm, the death of these two men was made possible because of the ruthless drive for profit by corporate behemoth Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos, now the richest man in the world. It makes clear that basic safety precautions—in this case, building walls capable of withstanding a storm—are routinely ignored at Amazon facilities throughout the world. The lack of an emergency plan to take workers to safety during a severe weather warning played an equally disastrous role.

Amazon officials revealed that neither of the victims were actual employees, but rather third-party contractors. Lindsey, the first man found, had been a material handling technician for real estate consulting firm JLL. The second, Espana Argote, owned one of the many small truck companies contracted by Amazon. Espana, a father of three, had immigrated to the US from Bolivia a decade ago.

According to the National Weather Service, a tornado hit Baltimore and Baltimore County on Friday. The tornado struck the Amazon building shortly after making landfall at 9:42 p.m., pulling off part of…

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