Criminal probe launched into Florida nursing home deaths

Debris surrounds a destroyed structure in Big Pine Key

Gov. Rick Scott said he was "absolutely heartbroken" to hear of the news and demanded answers as to how the tragedy took place.

- Florida has reported 26 deaths, officials have said.

Ellie Pina - a daughter of one of the nursing home patients - told CNN she was anxious something like this would happen and that she spent "the whole day" on Tuesday calling the power company to alert it about the life-threatening situation.

The nursing home also spoke to the emergency operations center in Tallahassee, which notified the nursing home that their FPL fix order would be "escalated". For example, the website said 25.9 percent of "short stay" residents were hospitalized again after admission to the nursing home, above the state average of 23 percent and the national average of 21.1 percent. Several patients at the sweltering nursing home died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath amid widespread power outages. We are not looking at amnesty, We are looking at allowing people to stay here.

Eight people have died at a Florida nursing home that was left without power for days after Hurricane Irma. But two new cases of carbon monoxide poisoning from temporary generators made clear that dangers remained almost a week after the powerful storm hit. A Tampa man died after the chain saw he was using to remove trees recoiled and cut his carotid artery.

Altogether, more than 100 patients there were found to be suffering in the heat and were evacuated, many on stretchers or in wheelchairs.

He said most of the patients admitted to hospital have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related problems.

"As with millions of other Floridians, our centers are coping with the loss of power and infrastructure in the communities that were most affected by the devastation", the Florida Health Care Association said in a statement Wednesday.

"If they find that anyone wasn't acting in the best interests of their patients, we will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law", the governor said.

Florida residents that heeded warnings to evacuate ahead of the storm faced lengthy traffic jams as they returned home after days in shelters or with friends or family. But the most recent state inspection reports showed no deficiencies in the area of emergency plans.

At a housing community for senior citizens in Immokalee, Florida, some residents told a Reuters reporter on Tuesday they had nothing to eat in their small apartments that were without power.

How hot did it get inside the nursing home?

More than 3 million utility customers in Florida remain without power in simmering temperatures.

This is a first for Line Mechanic Brian Smith, heading out to help another utility restore power.

At Century Village in Pembroke Pines, more than half of the residential buildings _ 77 of 144 _ were still without power Wednesday afternoon.

Trump's praise, he said, is not just for rescue workers but "includes the people who live here". "That's why we are camped out there and doing whatever we can to assist them in this process". Bill Nelson asked the secretary of Health and Human Services to investigate what happened.

Trump will visit Fort Myers in southwest Florida, an area hard hit by the storm, for a briefing on Hurricane Irma.

Standing in front of a produce cooler at a reopened Publix grocery store in Naples, Missy Sieber said the worst thing about not having electricity is not having air conditioning.

The Keys were largely evacuated by the time Irma barreled ashore as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour (215 km/hour).

A kitchen worker at the center told the Miami Herald that the facility "had power from a generator to cook meals, but no air conditioning". Officials said it had electricity, but the air conditioning wasn't working.

The staff used fans, put cold towels and ice on the patients and gave them cold drinks.

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