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Hawaii Governor Josh Green said during an interview over the weekend that more than 1,000 people are still unaccounted for following the devastating Maui fire that struck the small town of Lahaina earlier this month.
The fire from a couple of weeks ago has already been designated as the deadliest fire in the U.S. in over a century with well over 100 lives confirmed lost and it has triggered intense criticism of President Joe Biden over his lack of response to the tragedy.
Margaret Brennan, host of CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” asked Green on Sunday, “how many are still unaccounted for, and how long will it take to identify remains?”
“More than 1,000 are unaccounted for, about 1,050. It will take several weeks still,” Green said. “Some of the challenges are going to be extraordinary. As you reported, 85 percent of the — of the land of the impact zone has been covered now by what amounts to an army of search and rescue teams and 41 dogs. So, 85 percent of the land has been covered.”
“Now we go into the larger buildings, which require peeling back some of the floors and structures,” he continued. “That last 15 percent could take weeks. We do have extreme concerns that, because of the temperature of the fire, the remains of those who have died, in some cases, may be impossible to recover meaningfully.”
Green said that there are going to be people that will never be found because of how intense the fire was but he assured viewers that state officials were doing everything they could with the FBI to try to identify any remains they happen to find.