Otira crash victim's family travel from China to New Zealand
Relatives of a young boy critically injured in a bus crash have flown from China to Christchurch to be at his bedside.
The boy was among 16 people hospitalised after a bus carrying a Chinese tourist group collided with a car in Otira Gorge, near Arthur's Pass, on Thursday.
Eight Chinese nationals and two Swiss remain in Christchurch Hospital, all in a stable condition. One Chinese national was discharged on Sunday.
Deputy counsel general of the Chinese consulate in Christchurch, Li Xin, said three family members of the critically hurt boy arrived in Christchurch on Saturday night.
"They are OK. They are just depressed.
"[The boy] will receive further operations. That's all we know. Probably today [Sunday] he will receive another operation."
Officials were working to get relatives of other crash victims to New Zealand, he said.
"We have sent all the details to the local tour agency and through them to New Zealand immigration in Shanghai. We hope to get their visa[s] as soon as possible."
Some members of the tour group planned to return to China, Xin said. Others would continue their trip around the South Island.
Police acting area commander for the West Coast, Inspector Iain McKenzie, said the two vehicles involved in the crash were inspected on Sunday.
Brake failure in the coach, which was said to be travelling very fast, was being looked at as a possible cause, he said.
"After that vehicle inspection we will be in a better position to know what happened.
"We want to examine all the witness statements and the vehicle inspections are the real key for us."
McKenzie said emergency crews were grateful to passing motorists who stopped to help free trapped passengers at the isolated crash site before they arrived.
"Just helping these people they didn't know at all. It was just huge for us and all the emergency services thank them all hugely."