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People Are Lining Up To Donate Blood For The Orlando Shooting Victims

One local blood bank said their website crashed because of the overwhelming response.

Posted on June 12, 2016, at 11:28 a.m. ET

People in Orlando were lining up outside blood banks to donate in the wake of the shooting at a gay nightclub on Sunday.

Kristen Keough / Via Facebook: Keogh10News

In the wake of the incident, in which at least 50 were killed and 53 were injured, the Orlando Regional Medical Center urged people on social media to donate blood at a local blood bank.

Please do not come to local hospitals to donate blood, and instead work with local blood banks to arrange donations.

Many people answered the call, arriving in droves to prominent local blood bank OneBlood.

Kristen Keough / Via Facebook: Keogh10News

One local news reporter described the blood bank as "overloaded" with people wanting to help.

Blood center is overloaded with people wanting to give blood in the aftermath of the #Pulse mass shooting

At one location, people eager to donate spilled into the streets.

Current crowd of generous blood donors at One Blood on John Young/ Sand Lake location trying to help! #Orlando

At another location more than 600 people were lined up to donate, according to reports.

More than 600 people in line to donate blood hours after #Pulse nightclub shooting — via @stevehelling

The response was so overwhelming that OneBlood said their website crashed.

We're working on getting the website back up. You can call 1.888.936.6283

The blood bank network, which has locations all over Florida, said they urgently needed O+ and O- blood and AB plasma. However, they said all blood types could help.

Janet McGuire, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in Florida, told BuzzFeed News her organization does not accept blood donations in Florida, and asked those who want to help to instead contact OneBlood.

She said the Red Cross doesn't handle blood donations in the state because OneBlood is a prominent group that is efficient at collecting blood.

"It's already a great job they are doing at OneBlood," McGuire said.

However, the call for blood donations leaves out one group who desperately wants to help: gay men. Although the FDA ended an outright ban on gay men donating blood last year, gay men must be celibate for at least a year to donate.

AP / Toby Talbot

Many critics at the time argued that the decision represented little progress, as the celibacy clause was basically a de facto ban on gay men.

Despite a rumor circulating on social media, OneBlood said that they were not lifting the ban in light of the shooting.

All FDA guidelines remain in effect for blood donation. There are false reports circulating that FDA rules were being lifted. Not true.

Gay men, including Pennsylvania politician Brian Sims, called on straight people on social media to help out the victims in their place.

Facebook: brian.k.sims

BuzzFeed News has contacted OneBlood for more information about how to donate.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.