As AC360 first reported back in December 2012, the Veterans Administration hospital in Pittsburgh had high levels of Legionella bacteria in its water supply, but for months failed to solve the problem.
Staff and patients weren't made aware of the issue, and at least five patients died. Eventually drinking fountains were sealed off and patients stopped getting baths and showers, but it was too late for some of those who came into contact with the bacteria.
Victims' families are livid about how the problem was mishandled. "There were deaths before him that we didn't know about. We wouldn't have gone there ... He had a good outlook on life. He felt he had more time left," says Sandy Riley whose brother Mitch Wanstreet died after contracting Legionnaire's disease at the hospital.
Police uncovered a $300 million illegal gambling scam that lured people in with the promise of helping U.S. veterans. CNN's Drew Griffin reports on the results of the three year police investigation.
Twenty-nine patients at the Veterans Administration hospital in Pittsburgh have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease since January 2011, raising questions about the institution's safety practices.
Five of the cases "are known to have acquired the disease from the hospital," the VA said. Another eight were infected elsewhere, and the source of the infection in 16 cases cannot been determined.
The spate of illnesses has led relatives of two veterans who died after contracting the disease, a type of pneumonia, to blame the hospital.
CNN has learned that hospital officials knew they had a problem with the water system as far back as last December, but chose not to reveal that until a month ago.
That's when the hospital began turning off the water in parts of the hospital, staff and patients told CNN.
Jon Hammar, a former U.S. Marine, has been jailed in Mexico since August. He was arrested on his way to Costa Rica for a surfing vacation because of a gun he brought into the country, which he says he had declared with the proper paperwork. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
Jon Hammar dreamed of escaping to Costa Rica. As a U.S. Marine he served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan and returned home to battle with post-traumatic stress disorder. After getting treatment, he was ready to start his life over.
Costa Rica was where Hammar, 27, an avid surfer, wanted to find some calm, riding the waves and relaxing. He left with a friend, another former Marine, but their drive from Florida to Costa Rica didn’t go as planned and now he’s facing another battle. The U.S. veteran is behind bars in Mexico, facing gun charges and his family is speaking out tonight on 360, pleading for his release.
Hammer’s parents, Jon Sr. and Olivia, say the trouble centers around the decades-old Sears and Roebuck shotgun he brought along on the trip. It was Hammer’s great grandfather’s gun.
Anderson Cooper presents a special hour at 8 and 10 p.m. ET tonight on the myriad of challenges facing U.S. veterans when they return from battle.
Drew Griffin has been investigating charities accused of shameful deception, including allegations that they collect money with a promise of helping wounded veterans, but never deliver. These questionable charities target and exploit generous donors who think they're making a difference in the lives of service members. In tonight's show you'll see what happens when Drew confronts the president of one organization.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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