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Relatives demand evacuation answers

Oct. 26, 2005 at 12:32 PM

CHALMETTE, La., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Relatives demanded to know why an ambulance service failed to pick up their mother and disabled brother, who died when flooding overwhelmed Chalmette, La.

Daughters of Dorothy Hingle, 83, and her quadriplegic son, Russell Embry, 54, said Acadian Ambulance and Med Air repeatedly assured them and their mother they would be evacuated to escape Hurricane Katrina.

Acadian had evacuated the pair "like clockwork" before every hurricane for 10 years, daughter Sally Viada told the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate.

St. Bernard Parish, La., officials -- who said Acadian had an exclusive contract to provide such evacuations -- were investigating other similar reports.

Acadian official Steven Kuiper said the company was conducting a "status review" of its Katrina evacuations and refused to say how many times Hingle called between Saturday, Aug. 27, and Monday, Aug. 29 -- when 10 feet of water flooded Chalmette in as little as 30 minutes.

Hingle and Embry's bodies were found Sept. 23 -- arms wrapped around each other -- in a bed in their home.

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