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One dead, two winched to safety after Blue Mountains rock slide

A 36-year-old National Parks contractor was killed and two of his colleagues seriously injured when rocks at a Blue Mountains walking track fell from a 10-metre height on Wednesday.

The three National Parks and Wildlife Service contractors were working to improve the safety of the National Pass walking track at Wentworth Falls when they were hit in an area that has been closed since August "due to an identified risk of unstable sections of rock".

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Contractor killed by hazard he was investigating

Three National Parks contractors were investigating a rock fall hazard when a landslide killed one of them and seriously injured the others.

The contractor died at the scene. His body will remain under police guard until it can be recovered.

A crime scene has been established and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

The survivors - aged 26 and 27 - were flown to hospital with multiple fractures on Wednesday afternoon, following a sensitive extraction.

In a statement the National Parks and Wildlife Service said "experienced contractors" were working to make the walking track safe between Valley of the Waters and Slack Stairs.


"Our condolences go to the family of the contractor who was killed and our thoughts are with the other members of the crew who were injured," NPWS said.

Emergency services first responded to reports of people injured in the rock fall about 11.40am.

Police and Fire & Rescue NSW teams were at the scene, while critical care paramedics were winched in to assess the patients.

"It took about one hour for emergency responders to access the site," Superintendent Darryl Jobson said on Wednesday afternoon.

Fifteen ambulance crews, three rescue helicopters and three Fire & Rescue crews responded, while a command post was established at the end of Falls Road.

Witness Mike Burgess told the ABC he was bushwalking below the remote walking track when he heard a "big explosion" that sounded "like dynamite going off".

"But I knew it wouldn't be dynamite, it would be a big slab," he said.

"We heard all the blooming rocks smash down through the bush … right after that I heard a bloke scream. I'd say there were some pretty bad injuries down there."

National Parks director David Crust said the matter was now under investigation, describing it as "a tragic event".

SafeWork NSW has been notified.

Large rocks fell on the walking track, a popular attraction for 90,000 visitors a year, last November.

The track was closed on August 31 this year.

The closure was prompted by further signs of increasing instability, which were revealed in an assessment by geotechnical engineers who identified a "dangerous, unstable section of rock above the walking track".

"Falls of this nature occur throughout the park and the procedures are to help ensure the safety of everyone," NPWS Blue Mountains acting area manager Arthur Henry said at the time.

The walking track remains closed, affecting the Den Fenella walking track, National Pass and the Wentworth Pass loop walking track.

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