Burning Man festival: One dead as downpours leave thousands stranded

Burning Man festival: One dead as downpours leave thousands stranded

One person has died at the Burning Man festival as downpours have left thousands stranded.

Organisers have closed vehicle access to the festival at the event which started on August 27 while attendees have been told to conserve food and water after flooding from storms swept through the Nevada desert.

Police said a person has died “during this rain event” but did not provide further information on Sunday.

The US Bureau of Land Management, the agency that manages the land on which the event takes place, said in a statement: “Rain over the last 24 hours has created a situation that required a full stop of vehicle movement on the playa.

“More rain is expected over the next few days and conditions are not expected to improve enough to allow vehicles to enter the playa.”

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.

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.