Into The Wild bus removed from Alaskan wilderness by helicopter

June 19, 2020

A bus abandoned in the Alaskan wilderness which was made famous by the book and film Into The Wild has been removed after tourists repeatedly had to be rescued while trying to reach it.

The 1940s-era vehicle was airlifted from its spot west of the Teklanika River on Thursday by a US Army helicopter.

The bus became famous when 24-year-old adventurer Chris McCandless lived in it during the summer of 1992 and died of starvation after 114 days in the wilderness.

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

The National Guard said the bus was a public safety issue because it was encouraging fans of McCandless to venture into the dangerous Alaskan wild.

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

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

As recently as February, Alaska State Troopers rescued five Italian hikers, one of whom suffered severe frostbite.

Locals had called for authorities to reduce or eliminate the danger caused by the bus.

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.

"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."

The bus was hauled to the trail about 60 years ago by a road crew.

It was removed by a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. The aircrew also ensured the safe transportation of a suitcase that holds sentimental value to the McCandless family, the National Guard said.

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

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