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The Final Words of an Amazon Worker Killed by a Tornado Are Making Everyone Mad

One man’s text message to his girlfriend just before a tornado killed him and at least five of his coworkers at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois Friday has sparked bipartisan outrage.


Tragedy has unified left and right against the online retail giant.


Larry Virden, a 46-year-old Army veteran and father of four, texted his girlfriend that Amazon would not allow employees to leave the Edwardsville warehouse that was struck by a tornado just 16 minutes later.

A Navy veteran and the single mother of an infant were also among those who died on the job as part of an outbreak of tornadoes across eight states Friday night and early Saturday morning that killed dozens of people.



Critics on the left highlighted Virden’s death to criticize Amazon’s labor practices and lobbying efforts against workplace safety regulations.


Some conservatives raised similar issues, while others pointed to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo’s detachment from the fate of his workers.


On Twitter Friday, Bezos said Amazon was “heartbroken over the loss of our teammates” in Edwardsville and promised the company’ would support “their families and loved ones.”

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