A British father and son have died in a rock fall while on holiday in Australia.
The boy’s mother and brother were seriously injured in the freak accident after the family went hiking in the Blue Mountains north of New York Sydney.
Police said the family was made up entirely of British nationals visiting from the UK. reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
The 49-year-old father and nine-year-old son died at the scene, while the 50-year-old mother and another 14-year-old boy were airlifted to hospital in critical condition.
A third child, a 15-year-old daughter, escaped serious injury in the landslide at Wentworth Pass in Wentworth Falls on Monday noon.
Acting Superintendent John Nelson said the victims were crushed by falling rocks on a popular hiking trail. reports ABC News.
He said: “There were five people walking through the bush.
“Unfortunately there was a landslide during their bush walk.
“As a result, there was a police operation that is ongoing. This is a rescue and recovery operation.
“Unfortunately, a man and a boy died in this landslide today.”
Mr Nelson said a 15-year-old girl was led out of the dense bushland by paramedics and she was lucky to be alive.
He added: “It’s quite a tragic scene, we have a girl walking out who is obviously very distressed and we are trying to speak to her to get more information.”
The injured mother and her son suffered “significant head and abdominal injuries” and were treated at the scene before being flown to hospital.
Paramedics had to be helicoptered down because they were unable to reach the patients over the “extremely dangerous, unstable” terrain.
The remote mountainous site is about a 90-minute walk from the parking lot and has been lashed by weeks of torrential rain.
Ambulance chief Stewart Clarke said it was “a heartbreaking experience” for everyone involved in the rescue.
He said: “Every situation as it has been described is obviously exceptionally confronting and heartbreaking, especially when you start to involve children.”
Police today guarded the hiking trail amid questions as to why it was open following recent flooding.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service website says part of the trail is closed “due to flood damage and continued risk of falling rocks.”
However, Mr Nelson said the part of the route the family walked is open.
New South Wales Police said: “The five people are all members of the same family and are British nationals who have been on holiday in Australia.
“The British consulate is helping in this matter.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5047355/brit-dad-son-crushed-death-landslip/ The British father and son, 9, were crushed to death and two fought for their lives when the family was hit by a landslide while hiking in Australia