Tor­nado blamed in col­lapse of ware­house that killed 2

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Palm Beach (Sunday) - - NATION & WORLD -

BAL­TI­MORE — Fri­day night’s storm sys­tem pro­duced an EF-1 tor­nado that touched down in Bal­ti­more City and County, pro­duc­ing winds of over 100 mph and knock­ing down part of an Ama­zon.com ware­house, killing two peo­ple.

An EF-1 tor­nado on the En­hanced Fu­jita scale gen­er­ally causes mod­er­ate dam­age. The scale goes from zero to five, with five caus­ing the most de­struc­tion.

The twis­ter cut a path 2 ½ miles long and about 150 yards wide as it raced east for five min­utes start­ing at 9:42 p.m., said Jim Lee, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist at the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice’s of­fice in Ster­ling, Va.

It left a track of in­ter­mit­tent dam­age, flip­ping over a trac­tor trailer near the Fort McHenry Tun­nel, rip­ping down part of the ware­house, and tear­ing off the roof of a nearby apart­ment com­plex in Dun­dalk, he said.

A Bal­ti­more fire­fighter with Engine 50, on Broen­ing High­way, wit­nessed the swirling de­bris cloud as it passed, Lee said.

The ware­house col­lapse hap­pened at a load­ing dock area at the Ama­zon sort­ing cen­ter, Ama­zon said.

Ama­zon said the vic­tims, who were not iden­ti­fied, were “third-party con­trac­tors” and not Ama­zon em­ploy­ees.

One of them was pulled from the rub­ble overnight Fri­day and died at the hos­pi­tal. The body of the se­cond per­son was found early Satur­day.

The fire de­part­ment had to bring in a crane and other heavy equip­ment to re­move col­lapsed con­crete and other de­bris.

The Weather Ser­vice’s re­port came after it sent dam­age-as­sess­ment teams to see whether tor­na­does had touched down.

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