Rotorua bus crash: Tourist describes moment bus rolled

WELLINGTON

Bay of Plenty Police Inspector, Brent Crowe, said in a news conference there were 27 people on board the bus and of those five were killed as a result of the crash.

Liang Zhi, a diplomat from the Chinese Embassy in Wellington, told The Associated Press that they understand the bus was carrying a driver, a tour guide, and Chinese tourists mostly from the Sichuan province.

Several other people were seriously injured in the road disaster on Wednesday, and have been hospitalised.

The driver's condition was described as not serious. "There's a number of curves, and at the time the weather was very unfavourable, high winds, fog and a lot of rain, and the road surface was slippery".

Survivors from the bus crash are led away from the scene.

Minutes after the crash people were slowly starting to get out of the bus, some injured and screaming.

"The road is closed, and diversions will be in place".

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In a tweeted alert, St John says they have dispatched five helicopters, three ambulances and a manager to the scene.

Some survivors were taken to Rotorua's ambulance base, including one man who was limping heavily and had to be helped into a wheelchair.

The Chinese Embassy in New Zealand issued the following statement to 1 NEWS after the fatal crash yesterday: "The Embassy attaches great importance to the tragic incident".

A number of passengers were injured, the police said.

"Rotorua emergency and welfare services have rallied together to provide support and aroha to those affected", he says.

Crowe said the main focus now was the recovery of the deceased, and to remove the bus from the scene so the road can be reopened.

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