Eight people in a Hollywood, Fla., nursing home died after the facility lost air conditioning to Hurricane Irma’s destruction, according to Florida’s Sun Sentinel.
The office of the Broward Medical Examiner confirmed the eight deaths Wednesday afternoon.
The number of elderly who have fallen victim to the heat steadily increased through Wednesday. Three were confirmed dead on site while three more were pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital. The police are launching a criminal investigation into the matter, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Other residents living in the building have been evacuated to a nearby shelter.
As much as 40 percent of Florida still lacked power Wednesday morning, with no definite timeframe when it might be restored. Repairing and replacing damaged parts of the state’s power grid could take weeks, The Washington Post reported.
“We understand what it means to be hot and without air conditioning. We will be restoring power day and night,” Florida Power and Light Vice President Robert Gould told WaPo. “This is going to be a very uncomfortable time.”
Across Florida, powerless residents are forced to deal with spoiled food in warm refrigerators, cellphones losing battery and service, and high temperatures increasing risk of heatstroke for the young and old.
“It’s a mess, a real mess. The biggest issue is power,” Naples Mayor Bill Barnett said. “We just need power. It’s 92 degrees and the sun is out and it’s smoking out there.”
WATCH THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA FROTH OVER HURRICANE IRMA:
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