8 residents found dead in Florida nursing home

They were found after the air conditioning failed, and the center was evacuated this morning.
3:27 | 09/13/17

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Transcript for 8 residents found dead in Florida nursing home
And we begin with that horrific headline that emerged today, several days now after hurricane Irma hit Florida. Eight residents of a Florida nursing home have died. The center evacuated this morning after an emergency call. Three people had been found dead inside. The home using generators no air conditioning in that sweltering heat. Everyone else then taken to the hospital today, which was right across the street. Several others passing away there. Their aging ranging from 71 to 99. Of course, the question tonight, how did this happen? And here's ABC's chief national correspondent Tom llamas on the scene in Florida tonight. Reporter: From the air, a cruel scene. Senior citizens still in their beds, rushed to safety. Doctors and nurses surrounding them. A life and death situation at this nursing home, the rehabilitation center at Hollywood hills. The first sign of trouble came early this morning. An emergency call about a heart attack. But it soon became clear it was much more serious. The facility called and said that incidents were occurring. Something's going on in the center, unknown how many patients or their injuries. Reporter: What came next -- an all-out evacuation. The scene was chaotic when I arrived. We had 115 patients that we were trying to evacuate and get to safety. Reporter: The scope of the tragedy heartbreaking. Eight people dead, three at the nursing home and five more later at the hospital. The precise cause to be determined. Several others in the E.R. Tonight suffering from dehydration, respiratory conditions and heat exhaustion. The nursing home was running on generators since hurricane Irma hit. The lights on, but no air conditioning. This is the nursing home right here and there's a large police presence right now. You can see they've set up a command center over there. And one of the first things we noticed when we got here is the heat. It's 90 degrees, but on our weather apps, the "Feels like" is 102 degrees. Ellie pina's came to visit her 96-year-old mother here shortly after the hurricane struck. You went inside. How hot did it feel inside? It felt like 110, 115 degrees in there. Reporter: Could you see the suffering? Yes I did. Yes I did. Reporter: She says she called the power company several times and was told they would take care of it. What's also troubling? The nursing home is just yards away from one of the biggest hospitals in the area. We're conducting a criminal investigation, not ruling anything out at this time. Reporter: Also also looking into whether some of the windows here would not open. Florida's governor says the health department had been in contact with the nursing home over the past three days and told them to call 911 if they had any reason to believe the patients were at risk. And still unclear tonight, when did the first deaths occur? Chief, how did this happen? Why weren't the patients transferred? Well, you know, it's a sad state of affairs, you know. We depend on those people in those facilities to care for our most vulnerable elderly population. Reporter: And tonight, other nursing homes in south Florida now evacuating, after the governor ordered first responders to check everyone in the area. This is just so disturbing. Tom llamas live tonight from Florida. And Tom, what are we hearing from managers of the nursing home, especially with the news just reported there, the hospital was right across the street the entire time? Reporter: Well, David, the nursing home tells us tonight they are going to cooperate fully with investigators, but tonight we have looked into the record of this nursing home. They've been cited 11 times by health inspectors in the last three years. And Dave, tonight, there are still a lot of questions.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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