AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATE 8 NURSING HOME DEATHS
Storm knocked out center’s power, air conditioning
, FLA. Federal, state HOLLYWOOD and local authorities opened a criminal investigation into the deaths of eight nursing home residents who died of apparent heatrelated causes after their facility lost air conditioning during the power outage triggered by Irma.
Emergency teams responded to the nursing home Wednesday after police got a 911 call about a heart attack at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said 115 people were evacuated, some in critical condition. Three people were found dead at the scene, one died during the evacuation, and four were pronounced dead at a hospital.
The Broward County medical examiner identified the victims as Bobby Owens, 84; Manuel Mario Medieta, 96; Miguel Antonio Franco, 92; Estella Hendricks, 71; Gail Nova, 71; Carolyn Eatherly, 78; Betty Hibbard, 84; and Albertina Vega, 99.
Sanchez said his office is working with the state attorney general’s office and federal agencies to determine what kind of criminal charges may be filed against operators of the facilities.
Sanchez said they are determining exactly when the power went out and whether an on-site generator was used after losing power. Some windows were closed when officers arrived.
In recent years, the facility had been cited by Florida Agency for Health Care Administration for problems with temporary generators.