13th September, 2017
Six people at a Florida nursing home that was left without power for days after Hurricane Irma have died.
Police evacuated 115 residents on Wednesday from the facility, whose air conditioning was cut by the storm.
Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said three were found dead at the nursing home in the city of Hollywood. Three others died in hospital.
Ten million people are still without power in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas after Hurricane Irma.
The storm – which has claimed more than two dozen lives in the US – struck southwestern Florida on Sunday morning as a category four hurricane before weakening to a tropical depression on Monday.
Irma earlier left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, where nearly 40 people were killed.
Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills facility has been sealed off and police are conducting a criminal investigation.
State investigators from the Florida Office of Attorney General were also at the scene, city officials said in a statement.
“It may be related to a loss of power in the storm,” he said, adding that officers were checking in on 42 other assisted living facilities and nursing homes throughout the city.
Hollywood Fire Rescue found several patients “in varying degree of medical distress and immediately began treatment” when they arrived at the Hollywood Hills facility on Wednesday morning, according to the city’s statement.
Some residents there awoke sick, the Miami Herald reported.
Kitchen worker Jean Lindor told the newspaper a generator allowed staff to cook but did not provide the facility with air conditioning.
Temperatures on Tuesday in Hollywood reached 32C (90F), according to the National Weather Service.
The Florida Health Care Association called the deaths a “profound tragedy within the larger tragedy of Hurricane Irma”.
The facility is not the only Florida nursing home that has been left without power by Irma.
An estimated 150 facilities out of the nearly 700 in the state are currently without full power services, the association said.
The group said it was working with officials to prioritise “the locations with the greatest need.