U.S. tourist found dead on popular Australian hiking trail

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-11 12:28:34|Editor: Lu Hui
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CANBERRA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- A 33-year-old U.S. tourist has been found dead on a popular hiking trail in Australia's Northern Territory (NT).

The Californian man, who has not yet been named, was found dead on Wednesday evening after he took a wrong turn while hiking the popular Larapinta Trail, 10 km west of Alice Springs in Central Australia, authorities confirmed on Thursday.

NT Police Senior Sergeant Michael Potts said that the man had climbed Mount Sonder, the NT's fourth highest peak, with a companion before separating on the descent.

"NT Police from Southern Command with the assistance of Park Rangers responded to the call and initiated a search," Potts told reporters on Thursday.

"At 5:00 pm (Wednesday) night, the man was located deceased at the base of Mount Sonder.

"Investigations are ongoing, however police do not believe there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death."

The 40-year-old companion and the deceased man were descending the mountain when the 33-year-old ran off on his own and took a wrong turn.

"His partner made it back to the Redbank Gorge carpark and raised the alarm, but unfortunately the 33 year-old didn't arrive and his body was eventually located about 400 metres down the track where he'd turned the wrong way," Duty Superintendent Rob Burgoyne said.

"It was about three hours from when he was last seen and when his body was found."

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) recorded temperatures of up to 42 degrees Celsius in Alice Springs on Wednesday making for dangerous hiking conditions.

"We do know he had water with him, but he did do a very foolish thing in that he apparently ran away from his companion after the descent," Burgoyne said.

"It wouldn't be a terribly advisable thing to do in 40-degree heat to actually sprint away."

The American tourist is the second person to die while hiking in Central Australia in 2018 after a man from Adelaide was struck by lighting and killed at King's Canyon, 235 kilometers south-west of Larapinta, on New Year's Day.