Maui wildfires: FBI list reveals nearly 400 missing, down significantly from initial count

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The devastating wildfires that occurred on Maui earlier this month have left nearly 400 people still unaccounted for, according to a list curated by the FBI. This is a significant decrease from the previously believed number of over 1,000 missing individuals, but it still serves as a tragic reminder of the disaster’s impact. The deadliest wildfire in the US in over 100 years has claimed the lives of at least 115 people. The updated list of missing persons was released in the hopes of confirming the status of those who may not truly be lost.

Maui County officials have acknowledged that releasing this list of names may bring pain to the families of those listed, but they believe it is necessary to aid in their investigation. Hawaii Governor Josh Green explained that the FBI has been working to eliminate duplicate reports of missing persons, as 800 to 1,200 individuals were initially listed as unaccounted for after the fires. The search for those missing began shortly after the fires swept through the island of Maui, leaving the once vibrant community of Lahaina devastated and residents forced to jump into the ocean to survive.

Search and rescue efforts have been conducted in all single-story homes in the affected area, with crews and cadaver dogs now moving on to multistory homes and commercial properties. In addition, an FBI team specializing in cellular analysis has arrived in Maui to assist in locating potential fire victims. This team can access and analyze cell phone data, including subscriber records and cellular tower registration, which could aid in geolocating the last known areas where victims’ cell phones were operating. The team has previously utilized this technology in cases involving terrorism, kidnapping, and criminal investigations.

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