'Into the Wild' bus takes its last journey, out of the wild

JUNEAU, Alaska - An abandoned Alaskan hinterland bus popularized by the book "Into the Wild" and the film of the same name was removed on Thursday.
The decision prioritizes public security, said Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige.
The bus has long lured adventurers into an area without cell phone service that is characterized by unpredictable weather and sometimes swollen rivers. Some had to be saved or died. Christopher McCandless, the subject of the book and the film, died there in 1992.
The rescue of five Italian tourists earlier this year and the death of a woman from Belarus last year intensified local officials' demands to remove the bus, about 40 km from the Parks Highway.
The Alaska Army National Guard relocated the bus on a training mission "at no cost to the public or additional cost to the state," said Feige.
The Alaska National Guard said in a press release that the bus was removed by a heavy-duty helicopter. The crew ensured the safety of a suitcase with sentimental value for the McCandless family, the press release said. This article is not further described.
Feige said in a press release that the bus is being kept in a safe place while her department is considering various options as to what to do with it.
"We encourage people to enjoy Alaska's wild areas safely, and we understand the impact this bus has had on people's imaginations," she said in a press release. “However, this is an abandoned and deteriorating vehicle that required dangerous and costly rescue measures. More importantly, it cost some visitors their lives. "
McCandless, a 24-year-old from Virginia, was prevented from seeking help by the swollen banks of the Teklanika River. He died of hunger on the bus in 1992 and wrote in a diary about the 114-day life on the bus until his death.
The long-abandoned Fairbanks city bus became famous in 1996 through Jon Krakauer's book “Into the Wild” and a 2007 film by the same name by Sean Penn.
The Department of Natural Resources said the 1940s bus was being used by a construction company to house employees while working on an access road in the area and was abandoned after the work was completed in 1961.
In March, Denali district officials in Healy, about 40 kilometers from the bus, voted unanimously to get rid of him.

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