Burning Man festival victim named as Leon Reece, 32, as satellite images show mass exodus from desert after storm chaos | The Sun

A MAN who died at Burning Man festival after torrential downpours turned the desert into a dangerous mud bath has been named.

Leon Reece, 32, was found unresponsive at the site in Nevada's Black Rock desert after festival-goers were left stranded in the extreme conditions.

Over 70,000 revellers were told to conserve their food and water as heavy rainfall lashed the camp and access to the site was barred over the weekend.

Cops said the 32-year-old festival-goer was found dead around 6pm on Friday after six inches of rain hammered the area.

Investigators previously said his death was unrelated to the massive rainstorm, but cops last night revealed the conditions slowed down emergency services.

By the time they reached the swamped festival camp, he had been pronounced dead.

Stranded attendees were finally allowed to leave the swamped site after the driving ban to and from the camp was lifted at 2pm on Monday.

Satellite pictures show a mass exodus from the waterlogged camp as organizers said "conditions are improving and roads are drying", although they warned against people travelling by foot.

Local Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen said “Due to the unusual rain event happening on the Playa, access to the area and investigative efforts were delayed.

"Upon the arrival of Pershing County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, the doctor at the Festival had already pronounced the male subject, later identified as Leon Reece, a 32 year old male, deceased" the Reno Gazette Journal reports.

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Local cops said they have notified his family, but did not reveal where the young festival-goer had travelled to Black Rock City from.

Around 64,000 people were still trapped on the site as of midday on Monday, according to festival bosses. 

In stark contrast to previous years, the huge rainstorm is thought to have been the longest, heaviest rainfall since the infamous festival began over 30 years ago.

Tents were turned into mud pits and revellers were left without working toilets as trucks were unable to wade through the mud to empty them.

Fans were even forced to use plastic bags as makeshift footwear or forego their shoes altogether to trudge through the thick mud.

Some people were reportedly suffering from hypothermia as the temperatures dropped and supplies dwindled.

One reveller, Christine Lee, said the makeshift structures she and her friends built on the desert plain had collapsed.

"We are not allowed out of the playa, the gates are locked," she said.

"We have enough tuna for a week, so we're okay. All of our structures have fallen down."

Trevor Hughes, a USA Today reporter, previously told the BBC: "There was a person parked next to me who tried to leave and she got six inches before giving up digging her wheels into the mud.

"[The ground] is basically this alkali dust that when dry, is hard as concrete but you get a little rain and it turns into this slippery, muddy mess.

"The water has nowhere to go, it can't soak in and it can't run off. So it just sits there."

Paul Reder, who has been attending the festival for 22 years, said he expected it would take at least two days for the area to dry out.

Although he had said he was prepared to stay put, some festival-goers left on foot, trekking five miles to the nearest motorway to get home.

The chaos at Burning Man this year has been likened to those at Fyre Fest – the 2017 festival which left attendees stranded in the Bahamas.

Excited attendees were promised "deluxe housing" that actually turned out to be tents – and many of the musicians didn't turn up.

Burning Man attracts nearly 80,000 artists, musicians and activists every year.

The festival site is built and dismantled annually in the Black Rock desert just for the mammoth event.

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The downpours this year came towards the end of the nine-day festival, when the biggest crowds arrived to watch the burning of the giant wooden effigy.

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