Two young tourists have been found dead near one of Iceland's most photographed sites, a ghostly wreck of an abandoned DC-3 plane.

The young man and woman, both in their twenties, were found on Thursday after police were alerted to reports of a woman's body being seen near the Sólheimasandur plane.

The body of the man, thought to be the woman's travel companion, was found a short way off. A rental car belonging to the couple was left overnight in a nearby car park. The car was previously seen being driven through Hvolsvöllur in south Iceland on Monday.

While a post-mortem will take place this week the police told media that they were not looking for signs of any "criminal act" or third party involvement.


It was confirmed that both were Chinese nationals on holiday to the country.

Initial signs indicate both tourists succumbed to hypothermia during a bitterly cold week.

The Sólheimasandur plane

The crash site of the US Navy DC-3 plane has become a popular attraction for photo seekers and Instagram tourists. The plane was abandoned in 1973, after an emergency landing ditched the pilots in the black volcanic plane. While it was considered beyond repair, there were no fatalities and all passengers were able to walk away unscathed.

The mysterious looking plane skeleton has lent itself to countless travel photos. It has been the backdrop for Bollywood movie Dilwale, the subject of a 2007 documentary by musicians Sigur Rós and most recently a music video for Justin Bieber's single I'll Show You.

Last week Iceland was affected by storms and severe weather.

The Icelandic Met Office had issued travel warnings regarding extreme weather last week, with storms and lows of minus 4 Celsius.

Head of the Icelandic Tourism Association Jóhannes Thór Skúlason said it had been working with hotels and car rental companies to warn tourists of the danger.

"We have been lucky in the explosion of the tourism industry in recent years, although there are a few events of this kind that we have had to deal with," he told Icelandic news outlet Ruv.


In the past nine years, Iceland has seen a huge boom in tourism numbers. According to the Icelandic Tourism board Ferda Mala Stofa, airport arrivals have increased five-fold – from half a million in 2011 to 2.3 million in 2018.

In spite of the tourism boom parts of the country are wild and sparsely populated, and potentially dangerous for tourists who are not prepared for extreme weather.