A mother-of-two climbed over safety barriers to take a selfie on a rock ledge popular on Instagram moments before plunging 30 metres to her death in front of her horrified family.
Rosy Loomba, a 38-year-old from Craigieburn, north Melbourne, was visiting the Grampians National Park in Victoria when she tumbled down the Boroka Lookout, near Halls Gap in December last year.
Her husband Basant and her two young sons watched as she slipped while trying to take a photo at the popular spot, just months after police warned tourists were risking their lives for selfies.
Mrs Loomba died from multiple injuries, including skull fractures and a dislocated spine, a coroner heard on Monday.
She had joined a busy queue at the selfie spot with her husband, Basant Loomba, with the couple clambering over barriers once they reached the front.
But as Mrs Loomba walked back towards her family, she slipped and fell after losing her balance – leaving her dangling over the edge of the cliff while her husband battled to pull her back up.
He was then forced to look on as she fell to her death.
Rosy Loomba (pictured, right, with her husband Basant, left) enjoyed hiking in nature with her family in Victoria before her shocking death in December last year
A sightseer at the Boroka Lookout where Ms Loomba fell to her death. A 59-year-old British tourist died after falling at the same spot in 1999
A review into the area after a similar tragedy in 1999 saw the then-Coroner advise enhanced infrastructure for ‘safe viewing’, but on Monday Deputy State Coroner Jacqui Hawkins said more needs to be done as social-media obsessed visitors continue to flock to the area.
‘I note that adventurers and park attendees may continue to climb fences to access lookouts in order to get a photo or for their own curiosity,’ Coroner Hawkins said.
‘Mrs Loomba’s death is a reminder of the dangers associated with ignoring signage and fencing, which is put in place to keep people safe.’
While the lookout spot is fenced off, Ms Hawkins said it was common for people to climb over the ‘easily scaled’ wire fence to take photos on the rock ledge.
At the time of Mrs Loomba’s death, there were 30 other people waiting to have a photo taken.
Ms Hawkins recommended Parks Victoria install extra signage in the area that expressly stated people have died and been seriously injured at the location.
Bokoka Lookout is about 270km west of Melbourne in the Grampians National Park (above)
‘I note that adventurers and park attendees may continue to climb fences to access lookouts in order to get a photo or for their own curiosity,’ the coroner said in her findings.
‘Mrs Loomba’s death is a reminder of the dangers associated with ignoring signage and fencing which is put in place to keep people safe.’
The coroner’s report noted Parks Victoria installed additional infrastructure and signage at Boroka Lookout this year.
Parks Victoria will provide a written response to the coroner within three months, setting out how the recommendations will be addressed.
‘We’re reviewing the existing signage at the Boroka Lookout, including reviewing the recommendations from the Coroner’s Court,’ a spokesperson told AAP in a statement.
Rosy Loomba pictured (left) with her husband and young sons, and (right) with husband Basant
Ms Loomba’s family regularly enjoyed similar hikes, with her husband sharing many pictures on Facebook of the couple and their children in the bush and at famous lookouts including at the Dandenong Ranges.
It took Victoria Police and State Emergency Service volunteers more than six hours to retrieve Ms Loomba’s body.
Her body had to be winched out by a specialist team after 9pm due to the harsh terrain.
Her husband Basant’s sister, Jassu Minal Loomba, said Rosy, originally from India, had been devoted to her family.
‘She was a good life partner for my brother and best mum for her kids,’ she told the Herald Sun last year.
‘[The family is] still in shock and it’s really hard to believe.’
Rosy Loomba pictured with her sons (left) and husband Basant (right) loved hiking outdoors with her family. The much-loved community support worker, 38, fell to her death
The picturesque Grampians National Park’s Boroka Lookout (pictured) is a popular destination for hikers with thousands of people climbing over barriers to snap their picture on the ledge
Warnings had already been issued about the Grampians area by local officers who fear tourists are willing to do anything for the perfect Instagram shot.
‘One of the issues that is constantly tying up our resources is individuals risking life and limb in a bid to get the ’ultimate selfie’,’ a police warning read in January 2019.
‘We regularly see dangerous photos and videos geo-tagged to the area where individuals have compromised their own safety to get a particular shot.
‘We also frequently work with local rescue teams on missions to bring individuals to safety who have ignored signage and climbed over safety barriers or fencing.
‘Our missions do not always have successful outcomes.’
Sergeant Russell Brown, of Halls Gap, made an eerie prediction that the ‘absolutely ludicrous’ posts of the area he sees online would eventually end in tragedy.
‘From an emergency services point of view it’s quite frustrating when you see that irresponsible action that can lead to serious injury or death,’ he said.
‘If you fall, you die.
‘If this turns bad you’ve got to be thinking of your family, friends and other people who have to become involved.’
Police Minister Lisa Neville said the tragedy should serve as a reminder of the danger of taking extreme photos (pictured, a woman poses for a photo at the tip of Boroka lookout in February)
The Boroka Lookout, overlooking Halls Gap valley, has become an increasingly popular photo spot, with more than 6,000 Instagram posts tagged at the location.
One woman uploaded a photo posing at the dangerous lookout just three hours after the woman fell to her death. It’s unclear if the image was taken before the accident.
Thousands of pictures show people who have climbed over the safety barriers to snap a travel photo while sitting, standing or even in some cases doing handstands and even backflips on the precarious stone ledge.
There is no suggestion that Ms Loomba was doing anything similar when she tragically slipped and fell – and she is not the only person to die there.
In January 1999, a 59-year-old British tourist fell to her death at the lookout while holidaying with her husband and other relatives who were taking photos.