In the continental U.S., Hurricane Irma’s death toll rose to 31, after eight elderly residents of a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, were found dead after they languished without air conditioning in sweltering conditions. The discovery of the deaths prompted a local hospital—which is just down the street from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills—to send in more than 50 medical workers under a mass casualty protocol. One hundred fifty-eight people were evacuated, many with severe dehydration and other heat-related symptoms. An administrator at the nursing home said temperatures spiked Tuesday night after air conditioners went down due to damage from Hurricane Irma. Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez says his department is investigating the incident as a crime.
Police Chief Tomas Sanchez: “This is very tragic. It’s very sad. Many of us have loved ones in assisted living facilities, and we expect that care to be there for those people. … We immediately started a criminal investigation into this matter and made sure that everyone was evacuated. And we took control of the entire building immediately thereafter.”