Fire damage is seen from US President Joe Biden’s motorcade in Lahaina, Hawaii, on August 21, 2023.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
Maui police and the FBI have named 388 people who are still missing nearly three weeks after the deadly wildfires that destroyed the town of Lahaina.
The FBI compiled and validated the list after receiving the missing individuals’ first and last names from someone with a verified contact number, according to a Maui County statement issued late Thursday.
Maui County called on the public to contact the FBI as soon as possible if they can confirm that any of the people listed as missing are in fact safe.
The list can be viewed on Maui County’s website. The FBI can be reached at (808) 566-4300 or HN-COMMAND-POST@ic.fbi.gov.
The names were released on the same day Maui County sued the utility company Hawaiian Electric for damages over its alleged role in triggering the wildfires.
The lawsuit alleges that Hawaiian Electric was negligent when it failed to shut the power off despite warnings from the National Weather Service that high winds and drought conditions created a high fire risk.
Maui County accused the company of failing to properly maintain its utility poles. The county said wood poles owned by the company were severely damaged from advanced decay, increasing the risk that they would topple during the winds and cause a fire.
Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said the county understands releasing the names will cause pain for the families of those who are missing, but authorities are determined to conduct as thorough of an investigation as possible.
The FBI and Maui police have confirmed that more than 1,700 people originally listed as missing after the wildfires are safe and accounted for.
At least 115 people are confirmed to have perished in the blaze. The Maui wildfires are the deadliest in the U.S. in more than a century and the worst disaster in Hawaii state history.
Pelletier said earlier this week he cannot guarantee that the remains of everyone who died will be found.
The police chief compared the search through the ruins of Lahaina to the recovery operations at ground zero in New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
“Realistically, let’s be honest here, we are going to have a number of confirmed, we are going to have a number of presumed,” Pelletier said at a press conference Tuesday. “I do not have that number now. We are going to work diligently to get that. It may take a while.”
“2,000 people on 9/11 were not recovered. We don’t have that type of devastation with the towers like we saw there, but we have an entire town that is destroyed,” Pelletier said.