NATIONAL NEWS

Utahns volunteer with Red Cross in Maui as names of 388 people still missing are released

Aug 25, 2023, 6:02 AM | Updated: 9:06 pm

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Maui County released the names of 388 people still missing Thursday more than two weeks after the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century, and officials asked anyone who knows a person on the list to be safe to contact authorities.

The FBI compiled the list of names. The number of confirmed dead after fires on Maui that destroyed the historic seaside community of Lahaina stands at 115, a number the county said is expected to rise.

“We also know that once those names come out, it can and will cause pain for folks whose loved ones are listed,” Police Chief John Pelletier said in a statement. “This is not an easy thing to do, but we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to make this investigation as complete and thorough as possible.”

Names on the list were deemed validated if officials had a person’s first and last name and a verified contact for the person who reported them missing, officials said.

An additional 1,732 people who had been reported missing have been found safe as of Thursday afternoon, officials said.

A group of five Red Cross volunteers from Utah have been on Maui for more than a week and have seen the destruction firsthand.

“We see the remains of the homes; they’re really burnt to the ground, almost all of them,” said David Kenison from Orem. “It is hard to comprehend how much was lost, how many people were affected by this.”

Kenison and his wife, Bonnie, are spending their time visiting shelter hotels, documenting who is there and helping them plan for the future.

“We have encountered a number of people who either have a neighbor or family member that they don’t know about,” he said.

Even with the high level of uncertainty about what’s next, Kenison said he’s seeing people rise above the heartache.

“A lot of unity,” he said. “They are working together. They’re helping each other in a lot of good ways. So we’re seeing a lot of the strength of the Hawaiian people come through, which is very impressive.”

He and other Red Cross volunteers are staying in a church shelter and sleeping on cots so that they can leave room in the hotels for those displaced by the fire.

“We have almost 3,000 people—If you can believe it—that are now under the Red Cross supervision at these hotel shelters,” Kenison said. “So, just a tremendous amount of people displaced by the fire that we’re trying to help and serve at this point.”

On Wednesday, officials said 1,000 to 1,100 names remained on the FBI’s tentative, unconfirmed list of people unaccounted for, but DNA had been collected from only 104 families, a figure far lower than in previous major disasters around the country.

Hawaii officials had expressed concern that by releasing a list of the missing, they would also be identifying some people who have died. Pelletier said Tuesday that his team faced difficulties in compiling a solid list. In some cases, people provided only partial names, and in other cases names might be duplicated.

Maui County sued Hawaiian Electric Co. on Thursday, saying the utility negligently failed to shut off power despite exceptionally high winds and dry conditions. Witness accounts and video indicated that sparks from power lines ignited fires as utility poles snapped in the winds, which were driven by a passing hurricane.

Hawaii Electric said in a statement it is “very disappointed that Maui County chose this litigious path while the investigation is still unfolding.”

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Curator Lily Carhart shows a pipette they used to extract liquid from a few dozen 18th-century glas...

Associated Press

No lie: Perfectly preserved centuries-old cherries unearthed at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

George Washington never did cut down the cherry tree, despite the famous story to the contrary, but he did pack away quite a few bottles of the fruit at his Mount Vernon home.

17 hours ago

A reflective monolith found by Vegas Metro Search and Rescue near Gass Peak over the weekend....

Michael Houck

A reflective monolith appears in outskirts of Las Vegas

Three years since a mysterious monolith appeared in the Utah wilderness, a new one was found in the mountains near Las Vegas.

17 hours ago

A fan cools off in a mister before a baseball game between the Kansas City Royals and the New York ...

Mary Gilbert and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

Heat wave not seen in decades will send temperatures soaring for more than half the US population

A long-lasting and expansive heat wave fueled by an intense heat dome is underway for the Midwest and Northeast. Record-breaking high temperatures will last into next week, ushering in the start of summer with this year’s most significant heat event yet.

19 hours ago

Gordon Ramsay pictured at the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Celtic FC at ...

Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

Gordon Ramsay says he’s ‘lucky’ to be alive after cycling accident

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay said that he's lucky to be alive after a recent cycling incident in Connecticut. In an Instagram post, he revealed a massive purple bruise on his torso.

22 hours ago

FILE - A sign outside the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, on May 4, 2021. Most tax...

Josh Boak and Fatima Hussein

The IRS wants to end another major tax loophole for the wealthy and raise $50 billion in the process

The IRS plans to end another major tax loophole that could raise more than $50 billion in revenue over the next decade.

22 hours ago

Scientists have been trying to directly observe dark matter, the elusive and invisible substance th...

Jacopo Prisco, CNN

Scientists may have found an answer to the mystery of dark matter. It involves an unexpected byproduct

Scientists have made many guesses for what dark matter could be, ranging from unknown particles to extra dimensions. Here's what new studies show.

24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Utahns volunteer with Red Cross in Maui as names of 388 people still missing are released