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Maui Wildfires Death Toll Rises to Nearly 500 as Morgue Runs Out of Body Bags, Locals Claim

maui wildfires death toll bodies families huddled together pp
Source: ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA

Maui County and State officials in the search and recovery efforts of Lahaina.

Aug. 18 2023, Published 5:48 p.m. ET

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Maui locals claim the death toll is actually four times the number news outlets are reporting, stating there are "at least 480" people who lost their lives in the raging Hawaii wildfires.

RadarOnline.com has learned that according to some residents, there are families who will likely be forever scarred by finding the charred remains of their loved ones, having taken matters into their own hands due to the tedious process of the search and recovery operation.

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maui wildfires death toll bodies families huddled together
Source: ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA

The sweep of the effected area which will need to be completed before access can be restored to the few unaffected properties.

As for why authorities are reporting that 111 people have been confirmed dead so far, Maui resident Allisen Medina, 24, who has been helping devastated residents of Lahaina, told DailyMail.com, "Maybe it's to do with DNA or something. I do know they ran out of body bags by the first or second night and had to ship some in from the mainland."

Southwest flight attendant Sarah Trost said she heard a similar number in a TikTok video she shared on Tuesday, detailing an exchange she claimed to have with a part-time morgue worker who spoke with Trost while driving her shuttle from the airport to her hotel.

"He found so many children, children and moms holding each other. Infants, toddlers, the unimaginable. Husbands and wives, whole entire [families] in a room just huddling together, burning to death," Trost said.

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maui wildfires death toll bodies families huddled together
Source: ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA

Around 50 Guardsmen were mobilized on August 9 after the wildfire stuck Maui.

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"It's all bones. So he's grabbing the bones with the ash shoveling them into body bags," she added, noting many of those found dead are impossible to identify as the victims are no longer recognizable. "They have no more room on the island in the morgue so they're shipping in containers to hold those body bags."

In addition to the growing death toll, many lost their homes, businesses, and beloved pets. Some residents took a daring risk to save their furry family members when the opportunity arose while others ran for their lives with no moments to spare, leaving them to wonder if their pet had ever made it out alive. Nearly 3,000 had been reported missing since the deadly wildfires.

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Search teams with cadaver dogs have now scoured through 25 percent of the disaster zone, and Maui County Police Chief John Pelletier said officials hoped to get through up to 90 percent by this weekend after infernos fueled by winds up to 80 mph ravaged the area.

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maui wildfires death toll bodies families huddled together
Source: Yuri Gripas - Pool via CNP / MEGA

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell calls in for a press briefing with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the Maui wildfires.

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Aerial photos captured this week showed rows of vehicles still unsearched. Those which had been checked out had been marked with an orange X as a reminder.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are set to travel to Hawaii on Monday.

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