6 nursing home patients die in US post-hurricane heat

A woman is transported from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, Florida, as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

HOLLYWOOD, Florida: Six patients at a sweltering nursing home died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath, raising fears Wednesday about the safety of Florida's 4 million senior citizens amid widespread power outages that could go on for days.

Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were heat-related, and added: "The building has been sealed off and we are conducting a criminal investigation." He did not elaborate.

He said investigators have not ruled anything out, including carbon monoxide from generators. The chief also said investigators will look into how many windows were open in the nursing home, where the air conditioning wasn't working.

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