Australian police: Dozens still missing from fires

February 25, 2009 10:41

Australian police said Wednesday it could take another two weeks to conclude the search for dozens still suspected missing after the devastating wildfires that swept Victoria state earlier this month, killing 210 people. Officials cautioned that those believed missing are not necessarily dead, saying some could have been listed multiple times or might not have been in the path of the blazes. Others said last week that the death toll from the February 7 fires could rise slightly, but have not commented on it recently. Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said the exact number of missing was not known, but Police Superintendent Rod Collins said the number was "in the 20s to 30s range." Walshe said police were comparing the lists with 17,000 registered as safe. They have received 21,000 inquiries about missing people.

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