Eight dead at Florida nursing home, governor pledges full investigation

Eight dead at Florida nursing home, governor pledges full investigation

Outreach was made to local emergency officials and first responders, Carballo said, without specifying when.

"The facility had some power".

"We are devastated by these losses".

Elsewhere, a South Florida townhouse that weathered the storm was gutted by fire when power was restored, which caused the stove to ignite items left on the cooktop. Communication with the staff had always been like "pulling teeth", so it did not strike him as unusual that they had not been returning his calls since Sunday.

A caseworker named Ed, who declined to give his last name, came to the facility Wednesday to check on his 80-year-old dementia patient. "But nobody from the facility has told me anything yet".

More than 140 residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were evacuated on Wednesday after fire and rescue crews and medical staff from a nearby hospital found numerous facility's residents suffering from dehydration, heat stress and breathing difficulties.

The city first "became [aware] a crisis was unfolding at the facility after multiple calls in the early morning hours" Wednesday, city spokesperson Raelin Storey said this morning.

Video from above the scene shows the buildings residents sitting on wheelchairs outside the nursing home.

State records revealed a variety of problems at the center.

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"I will be traveling to Florida tomorrow to meet with our great Coast Guard, FEMA and numerous courageous first responders & others", President Trump tweeted.

Temperatures on Tuesday in Hollywood reached 32C (90F), according to the National Weather Service.

Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were heat-related, and added: "The building has been sealed off and we are conducting a criminal investigation".

Florida Power & Light, owned by NextEra Energy Inc and the state's biggest electric company, said it was working aggressively to restore power to the 23 per cent of its customers still in the dark.

The utility did not arrive until Wednesday after some patients began experiencing health emergencies, prompting evacuation of the center, according to a timeline provided by the nursing home. Five others died in hospital. The storm only knocked out power to the air conditioning system.

The number of people without electricity in the steamy late-summer heat dropped to 9.5 million - just under half of Florida's population. Three patients were found dead the facility and others were found there "in need of immediate transport", officials said. Another 18 patients in an adjacent behavioral health facility also were evacuated.

In a press conference Thursday, Memorial Regional staff members said that when they arrived at the center, they saw patients in distress and in bad shape. Randy Katz, medical director of Memorial Regional's emergency department.

Johnson, 83, said her friend was one those in the hallway.

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