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Eight dead at Florida nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma

16 September 2017, 01:00 | Darnell Patrick

Eight dead at Florida nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma

Eight dead at Florida nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma

Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez said officers would evaluate all of Hollywood's 42 other nursing homes.

Police opened a criminal investigation at the nursing home in Broward Contry, which is north of Miami. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has ordered an "immediate moratorium" to prevent it from receiving any patients; officials are also checking on other assisted-care facilities and evacuating them if they've lost power.

The causes of their death were not immediately clear, but the facility, Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, completed a precautionary evacuation of all its patients.

"The Hollywood Police Department has been granted a search warrant for this property", Raelin Storey, the city's public affairs director, said at a news conference outside the nursing home Thursday morning.

Prolonged power outages remains a risk for the elderly through the region, Sharief said.

But it evidently was unprepared for the intense heat and debilitating humidity that had made Floridians miserable before the widespread advent of air conditioning - the kind of wilting heat that can prove deadly to the elderly.

"We don't know", said Franco.

Firefighters evacuated 115 people from the nursing home.

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Six people died in a Hollywood, Fla., nursing home that had no air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power. He said the building has been sealed off for the criminal investigation but did not give further details. CEO Jacob Solomon said the group encouraged people to evacuate before the storm if they could, but now they're focused on helping them in their homes. He also said that if the nursing facility was found to be at fault, it would face the full extent of the law. Jon reports: "As of Tuesday, [the facility] was reporting that everything was OK, that they were using portable air conditioners and fans".

She said Hibbard had difficulty breathing the day before she died and wondered why no one was trying to get help for the people earlier. A total of nearly 4.5 million Florida Power & Light customers have been affected by the storm, with about 1 million getting service restored, mostly by automated devices. Today, five nursing home patients in Hollywood succumbed to the Florida heat and died early this morning. But he said that a transformer powering the site's air conditioning "went down" and that management immediately contacted Florida Power & Light, the local electric utility, along with local emergency officials.

The nursing home did have a generator, but it is unclear if the generator was functional, WSVN reported.

Four more patients died at or en route to a nearby hospital and a fifth was later identified as having died the night before, bringing the tally of those who perished to eight, the city said.

Exactly how the deaths happened was under investigation, with Sanchez saying authorities have not ruled anything out, including carbon monoxide poisoning from generators.

Richard Beltran of Florida Power & Light noted that not only did "a portion of the facility did, in fact, have power", there was also "a hospital across the parking lot from this facility and ... the nursing home was required to have a permanently installed operational generator". About 110,000 people remained in shelters across the state.

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