ANCHORAGE: An abandoned bus made famous by ‘Into the Wild’ film directed by Sean Penn has been removed by officials in Alaska.
The wrecked bus was airlifted from a remote trail outside Denali National Park after many people put themselves at risk trekking to the site where adventurer Christopher McCandless died of starvation in 1992.
The bus made famous by the 1996 book and 2007 movie ‘Into the Wild’ starring Emile Hirsch and Kirsten Stewart and drew hundreds of fans and sightseers.
“We encourage people to enjoy Alaska’s wild areas safely, and we understand the hold this bus has had on the popular imagination,” Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige said in a statement.
“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.
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Alaska Army National Guard worked jointly to remove the bus.
Over the years, several people making pilgrimages to the bus became injured or stranded while two drowned in river crossings. In April, a stranded Brazilian tourist was evacuated, and in February five Italian tourists were rescued.
The local mayor called the bus removal a “big relief” and said it was the right thing to do for public safety. “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,” said Denali Mayor Clay Walker.
The bus was hauled to the trail about sixty years ago by a road crew. The ultimate fate of the dilapidated bus is unknown. The Department of Natural Resources said it is being kept in a secure location pending a decision about its disposal.