Maui Wildfire Death Toll Adjusted to 97; Efforts Underway to Identify All Victims

[Hawaii, USA] Hawaiian authorities have revised the Maui wildfire death toll to 97, a sharp decrease from an earlier estimate of 115, according to Maui Police Chief John Pelletier. The update comes after the discovery of multiple DNA samples from some victims, causing an overlap in initial counts. The number of missing individuals has also been reduced to 31 from the previously reported 41.

John Byrd, of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, during a recent press briefing, emphasized that the current number is a tentative minimum, hinting at the possibility of a future rise. The devastating Lahaina fire, which occurred on August 8, is now recognized as the deadliest in the U.S. in over a hundred years. The severity of the blaze and the ensuing panic made determining an accurate death count challenging, with officials even mistakenly collecting animal remains amidst human ones.

74 of the victims have been positively identified to date. Dr. Jeremy Stuelpnagel, the coroner for Maui County, painted a heart-wrenching picture, detailing how many victims clung to each other and their pets in their final moments, leading to commingled remains.

Pelletier reassured the public that those listed as missing have verified reports filed with the Maui Police Department. He indicated that if a missing person report wasn’t filed within five weeks post-fire, it’s likely the individual isn’t missing.

Officials are employing more than DNA tests in the identification process. Dental records, medical devices, and the assistance of anthropologists are all instrumental in the effort. Despite the magnitude of the tragedy, authorities are optimistic about identifying all victims, giving families a semblance of closure.

If you or a loved one have been affected by the Maui wildfire, seek justice for property, livelihood, and life losses. Call Justin for Justice for legal assistance today.

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