Criminal probe opens into eight deaths at Florida nursing home after Irma
admin • September 14, 2017 • 2472
Police tape surrounds the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Florida U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Eight elderly patients died on Wednesday after being left inside a stifling South Florida nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma.
The incident prompted a criminal investigation as it added a tragic new dimension to mounting loss of life from the storm.
“This is very tragic. It’s very sad. Many of us have loved ones and assisted living facilities and we expect that care to be there for those people. And so that’s why, right from the onset, we took the initial step, we immediately started a criminal investigation into this matter and made sure that everyone was evacuated and we took control of the entire building immediately thereafter,” said Florida Police chief Tomas Sanchez.
Officials continued to assess the damage inflicted by Irma with the overall death toll from Irma climbed to 81 on Wednesday.
More than half of the number was recorded in the Caribbean.
The power losses from the storm had fatal consequences at the rehabilitation center at Hollywood Hills, a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, north of Miami.
Three elderly residents were found dead on Wednesday inside the sweltering facility, which had been left without air conditioning, officials said.
Five more patients from the nursing home later died at a nearby hospital, they said. — Reuters
Sydney – Australian authorities confirmed Wednesday the death of a firefighter as a result of bushfires that have ravaged the country since September, bringing the death toll to 26.
Matt Kavanagh, 43, died wile on duty after a Friday crash between two vehicles which police linked to the bushfires, Victoria’s Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said.
This is the third death in Victoria due to the fires, which have already caused 20 fatalities in New South Wales and three more in South Australia.
The confirmation came as firefighters continued their struggle to control dozens of fires that have been raging in the country’s southeast as temperatures are expected to rise above 40C (104F) at the end of the week.
On Tuesday, they took advantage of improved weather conditions to bolster preparations against the blazes that continue to burn in those areas.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, during a visit to Kangaroo Island – the country’s third largest isle – told reporters weather conditions were expected to worsen in the coming days.
Two people died on the island at the end of the year amid the fires still blazing countrywide.
The fires have burned more than 50 houses and almost half of this tourist island, located some 112 kilometers (69.5 miles) from Adelaide, home to 60,000 kangaroos, 50,000 koalas and other endangered animals who are suffering the catastrophe’s consequences.
The Insurance Council of Australia said Tuesday a total AU$700 million ($485 million) of accumulated damages have been recorded since September, with nearly 9,000 fire-related claims.
Morrison, heavily criticized for his handling of the crisis, announced Monday a package of AU$2 billion over the next two years to finance the recovery of affected areas.
The fires have razed more than 8 million hectares of land throughout the country, equivalent to the area of Austria, including some 2,000 homes.
They broke out before the beginning of summer in the southern hemisphere, which begins in December and where a shortage of rain is expected until the end of March. EFE-EPA
MANILA, Philippines – The death toll from Typhoon Ursula has climbed to 47 while 9 others remain missing.
Meanwhile, a total of 143 individuals were injured, according to authorities.
Based on the latest data gathered by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), more than a million families (1.979M) were affected by the weather system.
Also, a total of 27, 263 families remain in evacuation centers.
Typhoon Ursula has left more than one billion pesos-worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure.
Because of the extent of damage, 10 municipalities are now under a state of calamity, specifically the town of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro; Kalibo in Aklan; Libertad in Antique; Sigma in Capiz; Carles and Concepcion in Iloilo.
Also, under a state of calamity are the cities of Madridejos in Cebu; Borongan in Eastern Samar; Tacloban City in Leyte; and Daram in Samar.
Meanwhile, the government is currently working on providing the needs of those affected by the typhoon. MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)
MANILA, Philippines – Two more patients confined at the Philippine General Hospital and Rizal Medical Center died successively of complications due to ‘deadly lambanog’ or methanol poisoning on Tuesday (December 24).
They were identified as Mario Asegurado and Jun Jun Cleriko.
The recent fatalities from drinking ‘lambanog’ at this point has climbed to 15 — twelve from Rizal, Laguna and three from the province of Quezon.
According to the Rizal Municipal Police Station Chief PCapt. Lindley Tibuc, the victims’ kin are determined to file charges against the owner of Rey Lambanog despite the supplier’s offer of financial assistance.
“Puwede tayong mag file ng (We can file charges of) reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and physical injuries,” Tibuc explained.
“Posibleng sa pagluluto or doon sa pagtatakal, pwedeng doon nangyari ang pagkakaroon ng methanol content (Possibly, the poisoning started with the processing or handling when methanol content started to build up),” the officer said.
More patients are coming to PGH for checkup. Most of them were among those who consumed the so-called ‘killer’ lambanog such as Marlon Magpantay.
His drinking buddy died on Tuesday morning.
“Patay na kaninang umaga (He died this morning),” Magpantay said of his friend, Mario Asegurado.
“Maigi na ang sigurado. Nakaka-awa ang mga bata kapag naiwan, (It’s better to be cautious. My children would suffer if I die),” he added.
The municipal health office in Rizal, Laguna are encouraging all individuals who happened to consume Rey Lambanog to immediately seek medical consultation especially if they experience blurring of vision, difficulty breathing and nausea which are among the symptoms of methanol poisoning.
“Hindi biro na kapag nag umpisa na ang signs and symptoms (It’s not a laughing matter once the signs and symptoms begin),” warned Rizal Municipal Health Office Admin Officer John Michael Gangay.
“Kaya sana po bago mag-appear ang mga sintomas na iyon, makapunta kayo dito sa municipal health office, (So before these symptoms start to appear, better go to the municipal health office),” he offered. – MNP (with details from Sherwin Culubong)
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