Update, 12:10 p.m.: Burning Man has released the following statement identifying the victim of the fatal accident early this morning:
Alicia Louise Cipicchio, a 29-year-old resident of Jackson, Wyoming, suffered fatal injuries early Thursday morning after falling under a large vehicle at the annual Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada.
Event officials, including representatives of Black Rock City, the Bureau of Land Management and Pershing County Sheriff’s Office express their condolences and sympathies to the family, friends and campmates of the victim. Support is being provided to those affected by the tragedy.
Organizers are working with investigators from Pershing County Sheriff’s Office to determine the series of events leading to the incident. Anyone with information that may assist in the investigations is asked to contact (775) 273-2641.
A woman has been killed at the Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, the festival said this morning. The death occurred just after midnight on Thursday, after the victim was hit by a bus carrying passengers around the event. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman’s identity has not been released, but Burning Man said on its Facebook page that the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office has made contact with the victim’s next of kin and will publicly release additional information soon.
“This is a terrible accident,” said Burning Man co-founder Marian Goodell. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and campmates. Black Rock Rangers and Emergency Services Department staff are providing support to those affected.”
A previous death occurred at the 2003 event, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Katherine Lampman, 21, of Belmont died “when she fell from an ‘art car’ and was run over by its wheels,” the Chronicle says.
AP, attributing the information to Burning Man, says that the last death occurred at the festival in 2007. But the Reno-Gazette Journal cites a local hospital executive in reporting that at least two other deaths have occurred at Burning Man since 2011.
In July a man committed suicide at Element 11, a regional Burning Man event in Utah.
This year’s festival got off to an inauspicious start when heavy rain forced the festival to shut down access to the site on Monday. The festival was expecting about 68,000 people at this year’s event.
For what it’s worth, here’s a post on SFist that claims more deaths occur at the festival each year than are reported.
AP contributed to this report.