Hollywood, Florida, Nursing Home Tragedy Claims 12th Victim

Sean Breslin
Published: September 29, 2017

Officials say another person has died more than two weeks after the deaths of several others at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, bringing the death toll from the incident to 12.

A statement from the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office said 57-year-old Dolores Biamonte died Thursday night, according to the Associated Press. All 12 deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills have been included in a criminal investigation, Hollywood police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman said in a statement obtained by the AP.

The facility was having issues with its air-conditioning system after the area was hit by Hurricane Irma.

(MORE: Irma's Staggering Toll)

Facility staff started calling 911 on Sept. 12, three days after Irma. By the next morning, rescue crews arrived at the home and realized that it had been operating without AC for days, which made the rooms dangerously hot.

The deaths range in age from 57 to 99, and no charges have been filed so far, the AP also said.

"I am absolutely heartbroken," Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted following the incident. "Although the details of these reported deaths are still under investigation, this situation is unfathomable."

A man trying to repair the AC unit, Airstron employee Dave Long, told Local 10 a fuse that cooled the unit popped out during Hurricane Irma and needed to be repaired. He added that calls to Florida Power and Light had not been returned.

"There's nothing we can do," Long said. "We've been calling and calling. ... It just doesn't seem to be going anywhere and I can't do anything until we get that fuse popped back in."

Sanchez said 42 other nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Hollywood will be checked as a precautionary measure.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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