1 Dead and over 70,000 Attendees of the Burning Man festival Trapped on site

World | September 4, 2023, Monday // 08:51|  views

Authorities continue the investigation in the death of a man at the venue of the Burning Man cultural festival in the Black Rock desert in the US state of Nevada, even as thousands of people remain trapped on site due to heavy rains, CNN reported.

Thousands of people are trapped on site after heavy rains inundated the area and created thick, ankle-deep mud that sticks to campers’ shoes and vehicle tires, the US media outlet said.

The sheriff’s office said it is investigating “a death which occurred during this rain event.” Authorities did not publicly name the person or provide details on the circumstances of the death.

Sgt. Nathan Carmichael, with the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office, told CNN on Sunday morning that “a little over 70,000 people,” were stranded on Saturday. Some of them have left the site by walking out but “most of the RVs are stuck in place,” he added.

On Sunday morning, event organizers stated that roads remained closed because they were "too wet and muddy," and that more uncertain weather was expected. While some vehicles were able to leave, others became trapped in the mud, according to event organizers on the event's website.

“Please do NOT drive at this time,” they added. “We will update you on the driving ban after this weather front has left the area,” as reported by CNN.

A remote area in northwest Nevada received 2 to 3 months' worth of rain - up to 0.8 inches - in just 24 hours between Friday and Saturday morning. The torrential rainfall whipped up thick, clay-like mud that festivalgoers reported was too tough to walk or bike through.

The family has been notified and the death is under investigation,” the sheriff’s office said in a late Saturday news release.

Event organizers said that if the weather permits, they intend to burn the Man - the huge totem set on fire at the festival's conclusion - on Sunday night.

The burning, however, was rescheduled until Monday night "due to rain and muddy conditions Sunday, as well as an inability to move heavy equipment and fire safety on site," according to organizers.

Authorities have not stated when roads will reopen, although the sunshine is expected on Monday.

Rain falling on an already saturated playa overnight and Sunday "will affect the amount of time it takes for the playa to dry," organizers said, according to CNN.

It's unclear how many people are stranded at the festival, but over 70,000 people usually attend the weeklong event. This year, it’s being held from August 28 to September 4.

According to Sean Burke, Pershing County's director of emergency management, there were no reports of injuries as of Saturday afternoon.

DJ Diplo and comedian Chris Rock were among those who attended the festival.

Rock shared a video of heavy mud on Instagram and Diplo shared a series of videos in which he stated a fan offered him and Rock a ride out of the site.

The DJ said that they walked many miles and were able to reach a nearby airport, CNN reported.

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Tags: Burning Man, US, event, festival


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