Into the Wild bus removed from Alaskan wilderness over tourist safety fears

Bus has attracted many adventurers to the area, which has no phone service and experiences unpredictable weather

Roisin O'Connor
Friday 19 June 2020 10:38
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The bus where Chris McCandless took shelter in the Alaskan wilderness
The bus where Chris McCandless took shelter in the Alaskan wilderness

The abandoned bus made famous by the book and film Into the Wild has been removed from the Alaskan wilderness.

The Forties-era vehicle was airlifted from its spot near the Teklanika river by a US Army helicopter.

It was made famous when 24-year-old hiker Chris McCandless took shelter in it during the summer of 1992. He died of starvation after spending 114 days in the wild.

Author Jon Krakauer told his story in the 1996 book, Into the Wild, which was adapted by Sean Penn in a 2007 film starring Emile Hirsch.

The National Guard said the bus was a public safety issue because a number of tourists had attempted to find it.

Two travellers died after drowning while on their way to the vehicle in separate incidents in 2010 and 2019.

The Department of Natural Resources said there were a total of 15 bus-related search and rescue operations between 2009 and 2017.

In February this year, Alaska State Troopers rescued five Italian hikers from the area, one of whom was suffering from severe frostbite.

Corri A Feige, commissioner for the Department of Natural Resources, said: “We encourage people to enjoy Alaska’s wild areas safely, and we understand the hold this bus has had on the popular imagination.

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“However, this is an abandoned and deteriorating vehicle that was requiring dangerous and costly rescue efforts, but more importantly, was costing some visitors their lives. I’m glad we found a safe, respectful and economical solution to this situation.”

Mr Feige said the bus will be stored at a “secure site” while the Department of Natural Resources considers a permanent place for it.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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