FACT CHECK: Are Over 1,000 Children Still Missing In Maui Following The Recent Wildfire?
A video shared on Instagram purports over 1,000 children are still missing in Maui following the recent wildfire.
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The Maui Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have released a list of “Unaccounted For Persons” who are believed to be missing following the wildfire, but the purported individuals’ ages are not provided.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is set to hold a hearing about the Maui wildfires on Sept. 28, according to The Hill. The wildfires struck the Lahaina area of Maui on Aug. 8, the outlet reported.
“Over 1000 children still ‘missing’ after the deadly Maui Fire,” the Instagram video purports. The video has received over 700 likes as of writing.
The claim is false, however. The Maui Police Department and the FBI have released a list of “Unaccounted For Persons” who are believed to be missing following the wildfire, but the purported individuals’ ages are not provided. Check Your Fact reviewed the list and counted a total of 66 names. A note at the top of the list indicates it was released on Sept. 8, so the number of purported missing individuals may have changed since then.
Likewise, Check Your Fact did not find any recent credible news reports suggesting over 1,000 children are still missing as a result of the Maui wildfire. In addition, Hawaii Democratic Gov. Josh Green has not publicly commented on the claim via his website or verified social media accounts.
Green did confirm the number of missing persons had dropped to 66 recently, The Associated Press reported. The number of confirmed deaths remains at 115, according to the outlet. Only one deceased individual was a child, according to the Maui Police Department. (RELATED: No, Muddy Runway Is Not From Burning Man)
Individuals who have information about anyone included on the “Unaccounted For Persons” list can contact the Maui Police Department.
Check Your Fact contacted Green’s office, and a spokesperson directed us to Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) Superintendent Keith T. Hayashi’s Sept. 7 update about the recent wildfire. According to meeting materials featured in the update, 778 students have enrolled at 43 Hawaii DOE public schools, and 874 students have applied or enrolled in the state’s distance learning program.
In addition, there are an estimated 1,208 students the DOE is actively trying to contact.
Check Your Fact also contacted the Maui Police Department for comment and they directed us to the Sept. 8 list of “Unaccounted For Persons.”