Saturday, Jeff Bezos took heat for praising his latest set of space tourists while ignoring the deaths of at least six workers at an Amazon warehouse caused by a tornado the previous day.
After their 10-minute journey, the six members of the newest crew of the Amazon founder’s New Shepard rocket landed in West Texas, where former NFL great Michael Strahan met them. After they had returned, he opened the capsule door and greeted them, saying, “Welcome back, gentlemen.”
Before the launch, he shared a photo of himself and the space flight team on Instagram with the caption, “Happy crew this morning in the training center.” He did not mention the tragedy at the Amazon warehouse in Illinois.
One woman said, “You should care more about the tornado scenario.”
Amid the disaster unfolding in Edwardsville, Illinois, where an Amazon warehouse had two walls and part of its roof collapse late Friday, the millionaire praised his achievement in space.
Edwardsville Fire Chief James Whiteford said they were shifting their efforts from “search and rescue” to “search and recovery” because they didn’t think anyone else could have survived the destruction. While 45 employees made it out of the building, it was unclear how many might still be trapped in the football field-sized rubble; Amazon could not provide a figure to local officials.
A Twitter user named Joshua Dyer commented, “It’s sickening if you want my honest view,” over a video of Strahan’s post-rocket-landing celebration. After a devastating tornado confined several employees at his Illinois factory, “Jeff Bezos has spoken absolutely NOTHING about the deaths lost there.” However, feel free to play “want to be space men” for the next ten minutes. Unreal.”
Another Twitter user said, “SHAME ON JEFF BEZOS!!! The other day he was in West Texas! The lives of his workers were taken! It would have taken him less than two hours to fly to St. Louis and then 30 minutes to drive to the site of his climate change Amazon warehouse’s destruction by a tornado.
According to one Twitter user, he is “very dealing with my wrath” after “Jeff Bezos detonated his massive carbon polluting rocket this morning” after Amazon workers were killed in a rare December tornado the night before.
Despite Bezos’s silence, he did a post about the tragedy on Instagram, and Amazon had already issued a statement. To date, Amazon has not responded to our request for comment.
Spokesperson Richard Rocha for Amazon said, “Our thoughts, prayers, and sincere sympathies are with the victims, their loved ones, and everyone touched.” The business is currently evaluating the situation. The Amazon family is devastated by this tragedy, and our top priority is to help our employees and business partners.
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