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‘Into The Wild’ bus removed from Alaska wilderness

An abandoned bus in Alaska featured in the film Into The Wild has been removed after increasing numbers of tourists got into difficulties visiting it.

A US army helicopter lifted it from a trail outside Denali National Park. The local mayor said it was “a big relief”.

Two people have drowned in rivers on their way to or from the bus and many more have had to be rescued.

In 1992 the bus was inhabited by 24-year-old adventurer Chris McCandless, who eventually died of starvation.

His story was told by author Jon Krakauer in the 1996 book Into The Wild. In 2007 the book was adapted into a film directed by Sean Penn.

Alaska’s Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige said officials understood “the hold this bus has had on the popular imagination”.

“However, this is an abandoned and deteriorating vehicle that was requiring dangerous and costly rescue efforts. More importantly, it was costing some visitors their lives,” he said.

US army Chinook removes the busThe bus was removed by a US army Chinook helicopter

The bus was deep in central Alaska, 30 miles (50km) from the nearest town. To reach it, visitors had to cross the Teklanika River.

Last year a newlywed woman from Belarus drowned trying to cross the swollen river. The other drowning took place in 2010.

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In April a stranded Brazilian had to be evacuated and in February five Italians were rescued, with one suffering severe frostbite.

The state carried out 15 bus-related search and rescue operations between 2009 and 2017, authorities say.

bus removalNo decision has yet been made over what will happen to the bus

Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker told Reuters that the bus had become a “perilous attraction” that needed to be dealt with.

“At the same time, it is part of our history and it does feel a little bittersweet to see a piece of our history go down the road,” he said.

The 1940s bus was brought to the remote trail about 60 years ago by a road crew, Mr Walker said.

It is not clear what will now happen to the bus. Alaskan authorities said it would be kept in a “secure location” until a decision is made.

www.bbc.com

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