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Oklahoma, Missouri look into heat-related deaths

  • Published Thursday, July 21, 2011, at 12:08 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, July 21, 2011, at 7:19 a.m.

Health officials in Missouri and Oklahoma investigated new heat-related deaths Wednesday, as Oklahoma expanded its drought emergency statewide.

In Missouri, the Jackson County medical examiner was investigating three possible heat-related deaths, bringing to 13 the number of cases under investigation in the county so far this year.

The Kansas City Health Department said the latest deaths are those of a woman born in 1936 and two men born in 1945 and 1964.

No other details, including when or where the deaths occurred, were provided.

The National Weather Service has posted an excessive heat warning for most of Missouri until Saturday evening.

In Oklahoma, the state medical examiner's office said a 69-year-old Blackwell man's death Monday was the state's fourth confirmed heat-related death.

Medical examiner's spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard said Marcelino Calderon-Mora died of hyperthermia.

Ballard said officials are trying to determine whether eight other deaths in the state are related to the heat.

Blackwell police Sgt. John Mitchell said Calderon-Mora was found unresponsive in a ditch near a Blackwell park. He was taken to Blackwell Regional Hospital, where he died.

According to National Weather Service records, the temperature in Ponca City, located near Blackwell, reached 103 Monday.

Also, Wednesday, Gov. Mary Fallin amended a state of emergency to include all 77 Oklahoma counties because of ongoing drought.

Wednesday was the 30th consecutive day that temperatures topped 100 degrees in Oklahoma City, and Fallin said forecasts show drought conditions are expected to worsen for the entire state.

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