Hurricane Irma: Eight dead at Florida nursing home, governor pledges full investigation


Randy Katz, chairman of the department of emergency medicine at Memorial Regional Hospital, said fire and rescue crews received a call early Wednesday about a patient in distress at the rehabilitation facility.

Power outages also remain an issue in the Jacksonville area.

Eight residents died at a Florida nursing home which has been without power since Hurricane Irma and the state governor vowed a full investigation Wednesday into what he called an "unfathomable" event. Asked whether the severity of the two hurricanes had led him to rethink his position on climate change he said: "Well, we've had bigger storms than this". Jon reports: "As of Tuesday, [the facility] was reporting that everything was OK, that they were using portable air conditioners and fans".

While the causes of their deaths were not immediately clear, the entire facility was evacuated due to the cooling issues.

ELI PINA: After the hurricane, they were working on a generator because their AC broke because of Irma. A person by the same name was among several people who were listed as current or former owners of a Miami hospital and who paid a $15.4 million settlement over an alleged scheme in which the hospital "paid kickbacks to physicians in return for patient admissions", according to the Department of Justice. Defede said. "At the time this incident occurred, you have to remember when the first patients were dying, there were 150 nursing homes across the state that did not have power".

Three patients died at the nursing home, and three others died after being transported to local hospitals.

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

Four victims died after being evacuated to Memorial Healthcare System facilities, city officials said.

Florida seniors were ushered out of stifling assisted-living centers Thursday while caregivers fought a lack of air conditioning with Popsicles and cool compresses after eight people died at a nursing home in the post-hurricane heat.

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). Officials say the water will likely rise further in the coming days.

In the U.S., almost 7 million people were told to evacuate over the weekend and 13 million Floridians have been left without power in hot steamy weather.

"If they find that anyone wasn't acting in the best interests of their patients, we will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law", he said. In the Keys, Irma tore apart houses, flattened mobile homes and pushed boats onto the highway linking the archipelago, prompting authorities to largely shut down access to the islands.

Firefighters have evacuated 115 people from the nursing home.

The number of deaths blamed on Irma in Florida is at least 17 people now, in addition to four in SC and two in Georgia.

"Parts of the facility itself were energized" by Florida Power and Light, according to the company's communications director, Rob Gould.