Hollywood, Florida, Nursing Home Incident Claims 11th Victim

September 22, 2017

Officials say another person has died more than a week after the deaths of several others at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, bringing the death toll from the incident to 11.

The facility was having issues with its airconditioning system after the area was hit by Hurricane Irma.

Hollywood police said Friday that 94-year-old Alice Thomas died Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

Facility staff started calling 911 on Sept. 12, three days after Irma. By the next morning, rescue crews arrived to the home an realized that it had been operating without AC for days, which made the rooms stiflingly hot. 

According to Local 10 News, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief confirmed that two people died at the facility and three more died at nearby Memorial Regional Hospital. Later that morning, three more people were confirmed dead. 

"I am absolutely heartbroken," Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted following the incident. "Although the details of these reported deaths are still under investigation, this situation is unfathomable." 

(MORE: Irma's Staggering Toll)

The Office of the Broward Medical Examiner and Trauma Services identified the first eight victims as:

• Bobby Owens, 64 
• Manuel Mario Medieta, 96
• Miguel Antonio Franco, 92
• Estella Hendricks, 71
• Gail Nova, 71
• Carolyn Eatherly, 78
• Betty Hibbard, 84
• Albertina Vega, 99

A man trying to repair the AC unit, Airstron employee Dave Long, told Local 10 a fuse that cooled the AC unit popped out during Hurricane Irma and needed to be repaired. He added that calls to Florida Power & Light had not been returned.

"There's nothing we can do," Long said. "We've been calling and calling. ... It just doesn't seem to be going anywhere and I can't do anything until we get that fuse popped back in."

Sanchez said 42 other nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Hollywood will be checked as a precautionary measure.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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