Six patients at Philadelphia nursing home discovered with slashed feeding tubes

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Six patients at a Philadelphia nursing home had their life-supporting feeding tubes cut, according to police on Thursday.

Administrators discovered the slashed tubes Wednesday morning at the city-owned Philadelphia Nursing Home. All six patients survived. Police are investigating who might have had access to the patients and exactly when the crimes took place.

"For somebody to do this kind of act is extremely barbaric," said police inspector William Colarulo.

People relying on feeding tubes for food and fluid can on average survive without one for several days before dying of starvation or thirst, according to a Newsday report.

The city of Philadelphia and the company it hires to oversee nursing home operations settled with the Justice Department in 1998 a complaint that accused the facility of subjecting residents to abuse and neglect, according to published reports.