Hurricane Irma

8 dead at Broward Co. nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) – Hollywood police have opened a criminal investigation into the deaths of eight people at a nursing home that lost power when Hurricane Irma moved through.

The eight people who died were patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. The Broward County Medical Examiner just released the names of the victims.

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

Other patients are in critical condition. The exact number has not been released.

Emergency dispatchers received a 911 call from the facility at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, according to a Hollywood Police Department spokesperson.

Police responded and decided to evacuate.

"Once we determined we had multiple deaths... we made the decision to evacuate," said Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez.

"A number of people were in respiratory and other distresses," said Sanchez.

The entire facility -which has two wings- was evacuated.

A total of 133 patients were evacuated, 118 were medical patients at the Rehabilitation Center and 18 were patients at the center's behavioral wing.

Patients were evacuated to Memorial Regional Hospital and other facilities in the Memorial Healthcare System.

"Evacuating 133 people is quite an undertaking," said a police department spokesperson.

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is not part of the Memorial Healthcare System.

Relatives of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills patients are asked to not go to the hospital to check on their loved ones, instead they should call (954) 265-1074 to check on them.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told NBC Miami that three people died at the facility and the other two died as the patients arrived at the hospital.

The building has been without power since Hurricane Irma struck.

Police have sealed the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as part of their investigation.

As a precaution, police are also visiting 42 other facilities in the city to make sure patients are okay.

Later, a total of 79 patients were evacuated from the Krystal Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation facility in North Miami Beach after one of the generators failed. They were taken to 13 other facilities in Dade and Broward Counties. Five were taken to a hospital as a precaution due to hydration.


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