Amazon warehouse tornado: Warnings raised over safety

Image copyright ZAGG Image caption Workers were told to go home and remain under cover when the tornado hit the warehouse in 2014

The storm that killed two people and flattened an Amazon warehouse in the US has raised concerns about the company’s safety policies.

Company officials have defended their emergency procedures, and said they were determined to make the same mistakes again.

But Walmart filed a lawsuit against Amazon a year after the deadly tornado, claiming it failed to promptly inform the public.

The massive storm ripped apart one of the company’s three warehouses in Oklahoma.

Buildings collapsed and many people were injured.

The company said in a statement to the BBC on Wednesday that it was “impressed with the impressive response” of its employees.

Image copyright ZAGG Image caption A Red Cross truck follows the tornado as it reaches Oklahoma

Image copyright ZAGG Image caption The recovery operation was led by local authorities and search and rescue workers

Image copyright ZAGG Image caption A firefighter places pieces of a wrecked vehicle into a sand-filled bucket

“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims who perished and others who were injured,” it said.

“We will learn from this incident, and make sure our procedures and protocols are consistently applied and followed throughout the network,” it said.

Separately, Amazon has drawn fire from several states and city governments over its hiring practices, as well as for certain of its contracts.

Walmart filed the lawsuit in October 2017 after the tornado struck the warehouse.

Company officials have explained that they were evacuating workers at the time, and that their plans had failed.

Amazon’s statement said: “We simply are not going to repeat the same failures as a year ago.”

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Explosion in Bulgaria

Image copyright Symania Image caption A worker in Bulgaria lost part of her leg as a gas explosion ripped through her workplace

Three people were killed and many others injured on Tuesday night when a gas explosion ripped through a hair salon and bakery in central Bulgaria.

The building also housed a salon and cafe, according to local media reports.

Media outlets said the explosion occurred just after midnight on Tuesday morning in the city of Plovdiv, on the border with Turkey.

Image copyright BBC News

Two of the dead have been named as 19-year-old Sihaila Alimova and 33-year-old Nikolay Savitski.

A hospital official said that a third woman had died of her injuries on Wednesday.

Image copyright AFP Image caption A car is pictured among the rubble

Image copyright AFP Image caption Rescuers and police are investigating the cause of the blast

Image copyright AFP Image caption People pile into a body bag after the blast

Hundreds of local residents gathered outside the hospital, in an area in the city’s popular Market Square, where prayers were held.

One of the injured women, who was injured when the explosion destroyed the salon, told Reuters news agency that all the electrical wiring was exposed after the blast.

“In this place, there were a lot of people and it was like a house of horrors,” Natalia Ekidova said.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Staff who were working in the bakery remain missing

Image copyright AFP Image caption Rescuers bring in bodies following the explosion in Plovdiv

Elsewhere in Bulgaria, a woman died after falling from her home in central Bulgaria on Tuesday evening.

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