Tornado blamed in collapse of warehouse that killed 2
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.