Eight people dead at Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma

Eight people have died after spending three days inside a nursing home that had its power knocked out during Hurricane Irma in the United States, leaving the residents without air conditioning.

Emergency services were called to the Rehabilitation Centre in Hollywood, Florida on Wednesday (US Time) after receiving calls that some residents had died because of the heat.

It has been reported that temperatures inside were higher than 32degC.

"Inside it looked bad and it felt bad," one witness told CBS News.

United States, Hurricanes
At least 115 residents were evacuated from the nursing home. Photo credit: CBS News

Florida's Senator Bill Nelson said what happened at the nursing home is "inexcusable."

"People are just absolutely shocked that someone in the staff would not know enough that a frail, elderly person is dying of heat exhaustion and would at least know to dial 911," Mr Nelson said.

"There will be an investigation here and we will get to the bottom of it."

The victims have been identified as:

Gail Nova, 70

Estella Hendricks, 71

Carolyn Eatherly, 78

Betty Hibbard, 84

Bobby Owens, 84

Miguel Antonio Franco, 92

Manuel Mario Medieta, 96

Albertina Vega, 99

At least 115 residents were evacuated from the nursing home to nearby hospitals for treatment where authorities say at least another 12 people are in a critical condition.

Florida state officials have now temporarily shut the centre down.