Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

5 dead at nursing home after Irma cuts power

5 dead at nursing home after Irma cuts power

Three residents were found dead at the nursing home early this morning, and three more died at the hospital after more than a hundred were evacuated, many on stretchers or in wheelchairs, authorities said.

Even though threats can be grave to seniors staying in facilities in the path of a storm, evacuations also can be deadly.

"I am absolutely heartbroken to learn of news reports of the deaths of multiple individuals in a nursing home in Broward Count, he said".

A criminal investigation has been launched into the deaths of five patients at a Florida nursing home in Irma's aftermath.

Scott said he is also asking available first responders to check with their local health facilities to make sure nursing homes are keeping their residents safe.

A kitchen worker, Jean Lindor, said the center had power from a generator to cook - but no air conditioning.

"They identified which facilities were to be critical top infrastructure facilities, this was not one of them", he said about the Hollywood Hills center. Patients were treated for dehydration, breathing difficulties and other heat-related ills, authorities said.

The facility's administrator did not return messages left by The Washington Post.

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~150 of Florida's almost 700 nursing facilities do not have power restored, according to the Florida Health Care Association advocacy group.

In recent years the facility has been cited twice for violations related to federal requirements about its backup power capabilities.

More than 100 patients were evacuated and will be relocated to safety, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said at a press conference. "It points to the need for having plans in advance when it comes to emergency preparation".

"I am going to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place", Scott said in a statement.

Across Florida and nearby states, some five million homes and businesses were without power on Wednesday, down from a peak of 7.8 million on Monday. This has cut off air conditioning for scores of Floridians, and it poses an acute danger for the particularly young or old in a state known for its sweltering temperatures. Meanwhile, the state estimates that 4.4 million people in the state remain without power.

WSVN, a Miami television station, reports that there was a generator at the nursing home, but it is unclear if it was working.

It is not yet clear whether the elderly residents died from heat exhaustion or another cause. Utility officials warned it could take 10 days or more for power to be fully restored. "If not maintained, the emergency generator may fail without staff being aware".

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