(HOLLYWOOD, Fla.) — Eight people are dead after Hurricane Irma knocked out air conditioning at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, according to ABC affiliate WPLG-TV.
While the causes of their deaths were not immediately clear, the entire facility was evacuated due to the cooling issues.
Police said Wednesday morning that this may be related to the loss of power during the storm.
An individual handling air conditioning for the facility told WPLG-TV that a fuse was damaged during Hurricane Irma, resulting in cooling issues for the past few days. The facility itself has power, the individual said.
Officials said a call for service was made around 4 a.m., and responders “found several patients in varying degrees of medical distress.” Three patients were found dead in the facility and others were found there “in need of immediate transport,” officials said.
All 115 patients from the rehabilitation center were evacuated to hospitals, officials said.
Officials said 18 additional patients from a second adjoining facility were also being relocated due to the investigation, though these patients were “not medically compromised.”
The deaths are under investigation.
Police said a criminal investigation is underway and they are not ruling anything out.
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