Wildfires that tore through Maui on Wednesday and other areas of the Hawaiian island have killed at least six people, driving scared locals to jump into the ocean in an effort to escape a fiery demise.
Following the swiftly spreading fire in Lahaina Town, which includes a well-liked tourist area packed with stores and restaurants, officials reported that at least two dozen other people had been hurt.
Photos released overnight showed a line of flames exploding across a crossroads and on top of ancient buildings that date back to the 1700s.
As a result, all highways in and out of West Maui’s major city were shut down to everyone but emergency personnel. Aerial footage showed entire blocks of buildings reduced to ash as dense smoke billowed in the sky.
According to a statement from the County of Maui, the Coast Guard saved 12 adults and two children who dived into the ocean to escape the fierce flames and dense smoke.
How the six people perished is unknown. County Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. stated during a press conference on Wednesday that he was only made aware of the six fatalities and was unaware of their whereabouts on the island.
On Tuesday night, a regional director for Hawaii Life Flight reported that six patients were transported from the island of Maui to Oahu. Six people have died as a result of the fires.
At least 20 victims were taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center, and three people sustained significant burns, he claimed. Despite suffering from smoke inhalation, the firefighter was reported to be in stable condition at the hospital.
The National Weather Service reported that Hurricane Dora’s leftovers, which were moving through 500 miles to the south but were still bringing gusts of 60 mph to the island, are fanning the fires.