The bodies of a Briton and his nine-year-old son have been recovered after they died in a landslide while on holiday in Australia.
Authorities have launched a “full investigation” into whether a hiking trail on which they were killed should have closed earlier due to heavy rains.
The inquest comes as the bodies of the 49-year-old Briton and his son were recovered in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney on Tuesday, the day after they died.
A 50-year-old woman and 14-year-old boy suffered serious head and abdominal injuries in the same incident at Wentworth Falls and remain in critical condition.
A fifth family member, a 15-year-old girl, survived the incident but was treated for shock.
The deadly landslide happened on Monday afternoon after heavy rains. The New South Wales (NSW) National Parks and Wildlife Service had inspected the route in the run-up to the tragedy but decided to keep it open.
In a statement, the department said the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service “has a first class program in place to assess geotechnical risks and maintain the safety of trails and other infrastructure to the maximum extent possible”.
“Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict and eliminate all natural hazards, such as rockfalls, that can occasionally occur throughout the state,” she added.
Dominic Perrottet, the Premier of New South Wales, who called the accident “tragic”, also indicated he would seek advice on whether the trail should have been closed earlier.
“These tragedies happen too often, so we will do everything we can to keep people safe,” he said ABC on Tuesday.
“Obviously, the Blue Mountains is a place where people like to hike. It is one of the wonders of the world, but when these tragedies occur, any government would be remiss not to act.”
NSW Ambulance’s Stewart Clarke said the deaths occurred in an “extremely dangerous, extremely unstable environment”.
“It is terribly sad to have lost two lives here today and my heart goes out to the families and survivors of this horrific ordeal who have witnessed what is sure to be a traumatic event,” he added.
Britain’s High Commission said it was supporting the victims’ families.