One dead at Burning Man festival as thousands stranded in desert after heavy floods

Authorities are investigating a death at the site of the Burning Man festival in Nevada where thousands of attendees remain stranded after flooding from storms swept through the desert.

Organisers closed vehicle access to the festival on Saturday and revellers were left to trudge through mud, many barefoot or wearing plastic bags on their feet, after being urged to shelter in place and conserve food, water and other supplies.

The Pershing County Sheriff’s Office said the death happened during the event but offered few details, including the person’s identity or the suspected cause of death.

Vehicle gates will be closed for the remainder of the event, which began on 27 August and was scheduled to end on Monday, according to the US Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the Black Rock Desert where the festival is being held.

Festival-goers were urged to shelter in place during the floods


More than half an inch of rain is believed to have fallen on Friday at the festival site, located about 110 miles north of Reno, the National Weather Service said. At least another quarter of an inch of rain is expected on Sunday.

The Reno Gazette Journal reported that organisers started rationing ice sales and that all vehicle traffic at the sprawling festival grounds had been stopped, leaving portable toilets unable to be serviced.

A satellite image showing Burning Man festival


Organisers closed vehicle access to the festival on Saturday


Officials have not yet said when the entrance is expected to be opened again, and it was not immediately known when celebrants could leave the grounds.

The announcements came just before the culminating moment for the annual event – when a large wooden effigy was to be burned Saturday night.

Reporting by Associated Press.

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