SYDNEY (dpa) – Extreme temperatures in the Australian Outback prompted the government to issue a travel warning Monday after two deaths.
Temperatures hit 46 degrees Celsius in the shade over the weekend.
Simon Broad, a property manager in a remote part of western Australia, said the death of a truck driver who tried to walk for help when his vehicle got bogged was avoidable.
Broad told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the man’s footprints showed he had walked 25 kilometres along the desert track before turning back towards his vehicle. Broad found the body of a 39-year-old truck driver under a shrub a kilometre from his vehicle.
The man, who was clutching an empty 1.5 litre water bottle, had turned around only one kilometre from a homestead. He also had 50 litres of water in his vehicle.
“It was only a matter of time before he was found and yet here we go again, we’ve got another person that’s left their vehicle and tried to walk and has unfortunately, paid the ultimate price,” Broad told the ABC.
Broad said the Outback is harsh country and very sparsely populated with neighbours usually more than 100 kilometres apart.
Two weeks ago, a 60-year-old man was found dead in remote western Australia after he left his broken down vehicle on a desert track to seek help.
A mother and daughter were lost in the desert for three days near Alice Springs last week, and survived by sucking dew from the leaves of a gum tree before they were found.