USA

US Army Airlifts Into The Wild' Bus From Alaskan Wilderness

Since it became famous by a book and movie, travellers have died trying to reach the bus and there have been many other rescue operations.

A bus made famous by the book and film, 'Into The Wild', has been airlifted by the US Army has airlifted from the Alaskan wilderness after tourists repeatedly had to be rescued while trying to reach it.

The 1940s-era vehicle was lifted from its spot west of the Teklanika River, near Healy, on Thursday. 

Personnel from the Alaska Army National Guard carried out the extraction mission alongside a US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

The bus was made famous by 24-year-old adventurer Chris McCandless, who lived in it during the summer of 1992 and died of starvation after 114 days in the wilderness.

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

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

There were 15 bus-related search and rescue operations by the state between 2009 and 2017, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

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

The abandoned 'Into The Wild' bus was airlifted from the Alaskan wilderness on Thursday (Picture: Alaska National Guard/US Department of Defense).

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

While in February this year, Alaska State Troopers rescued five Italian hikers, one of whom suffered severe frostbite.

Local authorities were urged 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 crew onboard the Chinook helicopter also ensured the safe transportation of a suitcase that holds sentimental value to adventurer Chris McCandless’ family, the National Guard said.

Alaskan authorities say the bus will be stored at a "secure site" until a permanent place is found for it.