Six residents of a sweltering Hollywood nursing home have died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath after the facility's air conditioning system was switched off.
On Wednesday afternoon Nicole Gomez, a spokesperson for North Miami Beach, told BuzzFeed News the Krystal Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was evacuated and 80 people were transported to other nearby facilities.
The Florida Health Care Association represents 81 percent of the state's nursing homes.
The people who died Wednesday in South Florida were part of a death toll that, while relatively low compared to other massive storms, has slowly climbed in recent days. He told Local10 that a fuse needed to cool the unit popped out and he was trying to get a hold of Florida Power & Electric to get it fixed. She said her sister could not talk or walk.
Jean Lindor, a kitchen worker, said through a Haitian Creole translator that the air conditioner has not been working since the storm and it has been hot inside.
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"I'm very concerned. I'm like a family member to her", he said. The facility itself has power, the individual said.
Jack Michel, the sole person listed on the nursing home's corporate registration in Florida, appears to have been accused of fraudulent activity in the past.
The deaths came after the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hillslost its air conditioning due to the storm's high-intensity winds, said to CNN affiliate WPLG.
"We are directing a criminal examination (and) not precluding anything as of now", Sanchez said at a question and answer session Wednesday.
"We're conducting a criminal investigation, not ruling anything out at this time", said Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez.
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There are some conflicting details about exactly how much power the building lost.
Florida governor Rick Scott said the state's top priorities are getting fuel delivered to gas stations and turning the power back on for those affected.
Rescue teams responded to an emergency call on Wednesday and found two elderly residents dead at the facility. More than 21,000 people remain in shelters across the state.
The number of people without electricity in the steamy late-summer heat dropped to 9.5 million - just under half of Florida's population.
Widespread power outages: Most of the city doesn't have power, officials said.
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