Probe opens into 8 deaths at Florida nursing home

17 September, 2017, 07:29 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Officials in Daytona Beach have warned residents of new dangers as the southern Florida city remains without power

More residents who had fled the Florida Keys ahead of Hurricane Irma were allowed to return to their homes on Saturday, as authorities prepared to reopen Key West at the end of the devastated archipelago on Sunday.

The bridge that crosses the river is just north of Gainesville, the state capital and home to the University of Florida. Other big power utilities in Florida are units of Emera Inc and Southern Co, which also operates the largest electric company in Georgia.

In the USA, around 4.3 million homes and businesses, or about nine million people, were without power in Florida and nearby states today, according to Reuters.

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills confirmed in a statement to press that it was dealing with a "prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane".

Several other nursing homes were evacuated because of a lack of power or air conditioning, and workers scrambled to keep patients cool with emergency stocks of ice and Popsicles. Police say three patients died at the facility and three at a hospital.

Sharief said there are no details about the cause of the deaths.

Hollywood police Chief Tom Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths were heat-related. "It was very hot on the second floor".

Calls to the owner and other officials at the Hollywood home were not immediately returned, but the facility's administrator, Jorge Carballo, said in a statement that it was "cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome".

"That's another question for the state agencies that regulate these nursing homes".

Dr Randy Katz, medical director of the emergency department at Memorial Regional Hospital, said the hospital began receiving patients early on Wednesday. "Right now, tens of thousands of people across our state are working day and night to get power restored and in three days, more than 65 percent of all outages have been restored".

Irma wreaked total devastation in parts of the Caribbean, where at least 43 people have died.

At least a quarter of the homes in the Keys were destroyed, according to federal emergency management officials, and 65 per cent suffered some damage. Also, information released by the state said 44 nursing homes were evacuated or closed.

- Jim DeFede (@DeFede) September 15, 20172/2 ...three times by nursing home officials saying they needed "immediate assistance".

Michael Benson, 65, of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, said he lost everything. He added that "I don't know what he's going to do".

On Florida's hard hit west coast President Trump feeding survivors and praising the recovery efforts.

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