Eight Died At Hollywood Nursing Home without Power Supply, After Hurricane Irma

Owner of nursing home where 6 died has history of fraud allegations

"We're conducting a criminal investigation into the deaths that occurred here", Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez explained during a Wednesday press conference.

"The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills has evacuated this morning due to a prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane", said Jorge Carballo, administrator of the facility. Police said they have sealed off the building and opened a criminal probe after the remaining nursing home patients were transferred to neighbouring hospitals.

Florida Power & Light said it had provided power to some parts of the Hollywood nursing home but that the facility was not on a county top tier list for emergency power restoration.

As a precautionary measure, police are checking the other 42 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the city of Hollywood, Sanchez said.

And at the huge, 15,000-resident Century Village retirement community in Pembroke Pines, more than half the residential buildings had no power Wednesday afternoon.

"We don't know", said Franco.

Several patients at the sweltering nursing home died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath, raising fears Wednesday about the safety of Florida's 4 million senior citizens amid widespread power outages that could go on for days.

Firefighters evacuated 115 people from the nursing home. Although the details of these reported deaths are still under investigation, this situation is unfathomable.

On his visit to Anguilla, Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, said: "There are things we are going to have to do in the long term to make this island more economically self-sufficient and even more resilient, and we will certainly be thinking about that". The staff used fans, put cold towels and ice on the patients, and gave them cold drinks.


One of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, Irma bore down on the Caribbean with devastating force as it raked the northern shore of Cuba last week before barreling into the Florida Keys island chain on Sunday, packing sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour (215 km per hour). According to state law, nursing homes must file emergency preparedness plans with local emergency management in order to operate. Numerous patients were transported to Memorial Regional Hospital.

Another seven people died in Monroe County, which includes the Keys, officials said on Wednesday.

Count mayor Barbara Sharief has criticized the facility for being slow to react when its residents' health was in peril.

He said it was "inexcusable" that no one appeared to have called 911 as residents in their 70s, 80s and 90s sweltered without air conditioning in the summer Florida heat.

On Thursday, detectives were at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills after receiving a search warrant to investigate the eight patients' deaths, which police believed were heat-related.

Later Wednesday, a second south Florida nursing home, Krystal Bay Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in North Miami Beach, was evacuated.

In Green Cove Springs, on the St. John's River just south of Jacksonville, many families need a canoe to get to their front doors. Fifty-seven residents were moved from a suburban Fort Lauderdale assisted-living facility without power to two nearby homes where power had been restored.

State officials continued to survey the damage left from the powerful storm on Wednesday, with Gov. Rick Scott making stops in Clay County and the Florida Keys as the state recovers from the catastrophic storm.

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