More details are emerging in the tragic incident where several residents of a nursing home died as a result of the air conditioning being down in the wake of hurricane Irma. Eleven residents so far have died as a result of the conditions in the nursing home. Now, it has been learned that unapproved work was done on the generator and the air conditioning systems. NBC Miami reports on how the nursing home installed a generator and worked on the air conditioning without the required permits.
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is in more hot water over the deaths of several patients. Eleven residents so far have died, all with body temperatures approaching 110 degrees. The deaths have been attributed to power failure during hurricane Irma, which knocked out the building’s power, thus rendering the facility without air conditioning.
After the first deaths occurred, city building officials say that they discovered that a temporary generator had been placed on the property. It was also wired into the building without the appropriate permits. Also discovered was the replacement of the cooling tower for the air conditioning, again without a permit.
The generator was not hooked up to the chiller, so the air conditioning would have gone out with the power outage regardless.
Plans for both the generator and the cooling tower were submitted for approval, but additional questions required for issuing the permit went unanswered. Thus, permits were never issued.
Current Florida law does not require that air conditioning units have backup generators. In the wake of this incident, Governor Rick Scott issued emergency rules that now require all nursing homes to have their air conditioning backed up by generators. If a facility loses power, they must be able to maintain temperatures at or below 80 degrees for a minimum for four days after a power outage.
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