SYDNEY (AFP) - A landslide struck a British family on holiday in Sydney, killing the father and his nine-year-old son while critically injuring the mother and another son, Australian police said on Tuesday (April 5).
The family of five was caught by the landslide on Monday as they hiked along a popular trail in the Blue Mountains to the west of Australia's largest city.
Police said they have recovered the bodies of the man and his son.
Rescuers rushed the mother and her 14-year-old son to hospital in Sydney on Monday evening, police said. They both underwent surgery and are in critical condition.
The couple's 15-year-old daughter was not injured and was walked out from the trail by emergency services, a police spokesperson said.
She is in hospital under observation and is being assisted by the British consulate and welfare services.
The family of five were bushwalking at Wentworth Falls on Monday afternoon when four of them were hit by falling rocks.
Rescuers took more than an hour to reach the site and a helicopter was used to retrieve the bodies, media reported.
The identity of the family has not been released.
Local police in the Blue Mountains are investigating the landslide and a report is to be prepared for the coroner on the two deaths.
The Blue Mountains get about 4 million tourists a year, the most of any national park in Australia.
Sydney has experienced heavy rains in recent weeks, with many suburbs in the city's west devastated by flash flooding and heavy storms.
The walking track, which has been closed until further notice, was given a routine inspection a few days ago, New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict and eliminate all natural risks such as rockslides, which can occasionally occur around the state,” a NPWS spokesperson said.