A 15-year-old teenage girl in Australia hiked for 90 minutes when her family killed her father and brother in a landslide.
The family was trekking in Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountain, west of Sydney, where heavy rains betrayed the situation when the earth gave way and hit them on Monday afternoon.
A 49-year-old father and his nine-year-old son have been killed and a mother, 50, and a second son, 14, are fighting for their lives in hospital.
It has now emerged that the daughter, 15, who was not injured, walked for an hour and a half to try to help.
He was described by police as “extremely distressed” and was being treated for shock at the hospital.
The mother and 14-year-old boy both suffered head and stomach injuries and needed to be calmed before they could survive an earthquake involving two helicopters.
The bodies of a 49-year-old father and a nine-year-old boy are still at the site of the landslide Tuesday morning, said John Nelson, acting superintendent of the Blue Mountains Area Command.
Speaking to the radio station 2GB, Mr Nelson said emergency services were focused on caring for two seriously injured family members yesterday.
“It obviously takes some time, it’s a 90 minute walk to the place where the landslide occurred and the place is quite dangerous,” he said.
“The rescue squad had to make the site as safe as possible to provide that care, so we’re in the recovery phase for the two survivors.”
A 50-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy are in critical condition at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital, he said.
The family was on vacation in the UK when the tragic incident occurred, police said.
Heavy rains have lashed the area for several weeks, shutting down parts of the national park and wildlife services, but not the section of the Wentworth Falls track where the crash occurred.
Monday was a warm and sunny day when the family was trekking and they didn’t seem to get any warning before the landslide.
“This is heartbreaking for everyone involved and I’m sure it could be a happy day with a truly sad ending,” Chief Superintendent Stuart Clark told the media, 7news.com.au reported.
“It is very sad to lose two lives here today and my heart goes out to the families who survived this horrific ordeal and to those who must have witnessed a tragic event.
“It was a really complex and delicate rescue operation for our crew who were working to access patients in rough bushland and navigating the turbulent ground.”
The Wentworth Falls trail is very steep and has four levels of difficulty given by the National Park and Wildlife Service, which means it is recommended for experienced walkers.
The Blue Mountains receive four million tourists a year, the most of any national park in Australia.
A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said: “We are providing consular assistance to the British couple and their children’s families following an incident in Australia.
“We are in contact with local authorities.”