President Trump meets with Hurricane Irma responders, victims in Florida
President Trump meets with Hurricane Irma responders, victims in Florida
16 million people without power and 142-mph winds: Hurricane Irma, by the numbers
17 September, 2017, 14:25
The city is trying to explain how one of its nursing homes, The Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills, became a death trap for 8 elderly patients after the facility's power and AC went out during hurricane Irma Sunday night.
"The building has been sealed off and we are conducting a criminal investigation inside", Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez told reporters Wednesday.
Officials confirmed eight people have died, but it remains unknown whether the deaths are related to the heat.
At least 32 deaths have been reported in Florida and seven more combined in Georgia and SC.
Ten million people are still without power in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas after Hurricane Irma. He added: "As of Tuesday, [the facility] was reporting that everything was OK, that it was using portable air conditioners and fans".
Such capacity is now being tested in Florida, home to among the highest concentrations of senior citizens in the United States with more than 1.6 million people ages 75 years or older, according to the 2015 U.S. Census.
Police evacuated 115 residents on Wednesday from the facility, whose air conditioning was cut by the storm.
The Daytona Beach Fire Department said Wednesday morning that one person was dead and three others taken to a hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator inside a home there, and the department pleaded with people to keep their generators outside.
Florida officials have made restoring lost power a priority and tens of thousands of utility company workers are engaged in the huge effort, many from out of state.
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Dr. Randy Katz, medical director of the emergency department at Memorial Regional Hospital, said the hospital began receiving patients early yesterday.
Another assisted care facility for dementia patients in Fort Myers, Florida, went without power for three days after Hurricane Irma.
Authorities were also instructed to carry out precautionary checks on other long-term care facilities in the area in the wake of the incident.
"This is an inexcusable tragedy that frail patients would die of heat exhaustion without it being recognized and taking them to the hospital next door", Florida Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, said in a statement Wednesday. "You see people immediately getting back to work to fix up their homes".
Broward County said the nursing home had alerted the county emergency operations centre on Tuesday that it had lost power, but when asked if it had any medical needs or emergencies, it did not request help. Administrator Jorge Carballo says the facility is cooperating fully with authorities as they investigate.
The nursing home released a statement saying it had a "prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane", CNN reported.
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Eight dead at Florida nursing home
Police have begun a criminal investigation of the deaths at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, 1200 N 35th Ave. Florida's southwestern coast is a haven for retirees seeking warm weather and handsome sunsets across the Gulf of Mexico.
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