New Zealand: bus with Chinese tourists rolls over, 5 killed

The bus rolled over on State Highway 5 near Rotorua a popular destination for tourist groups from China

The bus rolled over on State Highway 5 near Rotorua a popular destination for tourist groups from China

The Chinese embassy in New Zealand confirmed Wednesday that six Chinese tourists were dead in a serious bus crash near New Zealand's Rotorua.

Two of the injured suffered serious injuries, while four were less grievously hurt.

Police Inspector Brent Crowe told media that the medium-sized tour bus was carrying 27 people and was about 20 minutes north of Rotorua at just after 11 a.m. when it failed to negotiate a bend on a highway.

Police said the passengers were from overseas but could not confirm their nationality.

Police are working with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade to notify the next of kin. "And the road surface was clearly wet and slippery".

"Our embassy attaches great importance to the tragic incident", Liang said.

St John dispatched five helicopters and three ambulances to the scene.

He said the driver was not seriously injured and an investigation into the cause of the crash was under way.

Mr Crowe wouldn't say whether passengers were wearing seatbelts.

He said work is still ongoing on the recovery phase, including a crane which was being brought in to lift the bus.

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"I think that the aroha from the Rotorua community will shine through", Crowe said.

The scene of the crash on State Highway 5.

"This is still very much in an evolving recovery stage ..."

"We've got to do this meticulously, carefully and with respect to those who have lost their lives".

The road is expected to remain closed for some time as with police urged drivers to avoid the area.

The Rotorua road policing team had had "a bad year", he said.

Survivors from the bus crash are led away from the scene. About 10 people were taken from a minivan into the building.

'We are assessing patients and will update with any further information as it comes to hand, 'it tweeted.

The bus rolled over on State Highway 5 near Rotorua, a popular destination for tourist groups from China.

Those who died in the April 1 crash were Peter Senior Rangikataua, 44, from Rotorua, his nephew Rangi Rangikataua, 26, from Mokai and Peter's daughters Michelle Morgan-Rangikataua, 15, Aroha Morgan-Rangikataua, 14, and Kahukura Morgan-Rangikataua, 12. "That could include anything from providing food and translation services to liaising with accommodation providers and enabling them to contact family", Chadwick said.

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