Death toll rises to 9 in overheated Florida nursing home

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Police confirmed a ninth resident from a Florida nursing home that overheated amid power outages caused by Hurricane Irma died Tuesday, according to the Miami Herald.

The ninth patient, 93-year-old Carlos Canal, died nearly a week after the air conditioning at Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood (Fla.) Hills failed and eight other patients died.

Authorities shut down the nursing home Sept. 13 after evacuating patients, and police immediately opened an investigation into the deaths.

Nursing home executives said they reached out to Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Power and Light — the nursing home's electricity provider — during the power outages but did not receive help, according to the Washington Post. However, state officials and local law enforcement dispute those claims.

"No amount of finger pointing by the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Facility … will hide the fact that this healthcare facility failed to do their basic duty to protect life," Mr.  Scott said in a prepared statement late Tuesday, according to the Miami Herald. "This facility is failing to take responsibility for the fact that they delayed calling 911 and made the decision to not evacuate their patients to one of the largest hospitals in Florida, which is directly across the street."

Following the tragedy, Mr. Scott mandated all of the state's assisted living facilities and nursing homes obtain resources, including a generator and fuel, to "sustain operations and maintain comfortable temperatures" for at least four days after a power failure, according to The New York Times.

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