Officials have identified drug intoxication as the suspected cause of death for a man who died at the Burning Man festival. The festival was hit with heavy rainfall, flooding, and muddy conditions, causing chaos and delays for attendees trying to leave. Despite rumors, officials have confirmed that there was no Ebola outbreak at the festival. Andrea Blanco reported
Burning Man festival-goers were left in grim conditions after heavy rainfall, flooding, and muddy conditions turned the event into chaos. The festival, held in Black Rock City, descended into turmoil when the extreme weather hit. Tragically, a 32-year-old man named Leon Reece was found unresponsive on the playa on Friday and emergency responders were unable to revive him. The exact cause of Reece’s death is still pending, but the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office suspects drug intoxication.
The festival attendees faced challenging conditions as they tried to leave the city on Monday. With the extreme weather subsiding, organisers reopened the route to vehicles, allowing people to finally make their way home. However, tempers flared during the exodus, with Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen reporting that attendees “lashed out” at each other while waiting to leave the desert.
Exodus wait times initially reached up to seven hours, but by Wednesday morning, they had decreased to just 20 minutes, according to the latest social media post from the festival. Despite the challenges faced, officials have debunked a conspiracy theory that the festival experienced an Ebola outbreak.
The chaos at Burning Man caught the attention of public figures as well. Ted Cruz, the Texas senator, fell for a hoax during Tropical Storm Hilary and shared a doctored image on social media, purporting to show a shark on a flooded highway near the festival. However, he quickly clarified that he was in on the joke, trying to reclaim his credibility.
Celebrities also found themselves caught up in the chaos. Comedian Chris Rock and DJ Diplo shared their experience of escaping the festival, walking five miles in the mud before a fan picked them up. Cindy Crawford, Austin Butler, and Kaia Gerber also managed to leave the site, joining the group of celebrities fleeing the extreme weather.
Amidst the chaos, Burning Man attendees managed to find some solace in building mud sculptures and continuing to party. Many were left stranded at the site, trudging through mud, some barefoot or wearing plastic bags on their feet. The festival organisers urged attendees to shelter in place and conserve supplies, as the flooding and heavy rainfall caused havoc.
The situation at Burning Man was unprecedented, with the Black Rock Desert experiencing rare and severe rains. The flooding turned the once dry desert into a mud pit, leaving attendees trapped on site. Despite the challenges faced, officials confirmed that there were no reports of Ebola, Mpox, or Marburg at the festival.
Overall, the aftermath of the extreme weather at Burning Man left festival-goers in grim conditions. As they slowly made their way home, they were met with long wait times and frustrations, but eventually, the situation improved. The festival will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most challenging and chaotic events in Burning Man’s history..