Witnesses tried to help man trapped in car after bus crash before it burst into flames

The bus and the car were on fire when emergency services arrived at the scene.
JAKOB YE FRAZER/FACEBOOK

The bus and the car were on fire when emergency services arrived at the scene.

Witnesses to a crash near Te Anau tried to help a man trapped in a car following a crash with a bus, minutes before it burst into flames.

Emergency services were called to the scene on the Milford Road, two kilometres north of Te Anau Downs, just before 3pm on Tuesday.

The bus and the car were on fire when emergency services arrived.

The crash site near Te Anau, before the two vehicles were engulfed in flames.
JAKOB YE FRAZER/FACEBOOK

The crash site near Te Anau, before the two vehicles were engulfed in flames.

All passengers were out of the bus but police were still working to ascertain who was in the car.

Because of the extent of the fire, emergency services had not been able to search the car for occupants.

A police media spokesman said no-one had been taken out of the car.

Bus passengers are assisted at the Te Anau Medical Centre, following a crash between a car and bus.
BARRY HARCOURT/FAIRFAX NZ

Bus passengers are assisted at the Te Anau Medical Centre, following a crash between a car and bus.

NOT A GOOD CORNER

Garage door installer Jakob Frazer, 17, of Invercargill, said he and a colleague were returning from doing some work in Milford Sound when they came across the crash.

"When we came around the corner, we must have been there 30 seconds after it happened," he said.

The scene of a collision between a bus and car, near Te Anau.
JAKOB FRAZER

The scene of a collision between a bus and car, near Te Anau.

"It's not a good corner to see around."

Ad Feedback

There was a person helping people off the bus, and Frazer went to assist those around him before trying to help the driver of the car, he said.

He was not sure if there was more than one person in the car, as there was an arm "out the passenger door", he said.

The scene of a crash between a bus and car near Te Anau.
BARRY HARCOURT

The scene of a crash between a bus and car near Te Anau.

"All I could see was an arm and he [the driver] was screaming for help," he said

The person in the car was "definitely a male" and Frazer thought he may have been from overseas, as he sounded like he had an accent.

"It was just the way he was asking for help," he said.

The scene of a crash between a bus and car near Te Anau.
BARRY HARCOURT

The scene of a crash between a bus and car near Te Anau.

"I don't think he was understanding anything that we were saying."

When he arrived at the scene, the car was upside down and the bus was on top of the car, but they were not on fire.

"Then all of a sudden 10 minutes later smoke started coming out from under the engine of the grey car," he said.

He and some other people at the scene tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, but were not able to put out the fire.

"A couple of minutes later everything's in flames," he said.

"I'm just really shocked."

APPEAL FOR WITNESSES 

The road was closed in both directions following the crash, and re-opened just before 11pm.

The serious crash unit and the commercial vehicle investigation unit were investigating, and police are appealing for any witnesses to the crash to contact them.

Fire Service communications shift manager Riwai Grace said the car and bus were both on fire and it was "well involved". 

Three fire engines, from Lumsden and Te Anau, were sent to the scene. 

A police communications spokesman said there were initial reports that one person was trapped in the car.

Police said all passengers who were on the bus were out and some who had minor injuries had been taken to a medical centre in Te Anau, The other bus passengers have been picked up by other buses that were nearby, police said.

"WE'RE ALL IN SHOCK"

Explorer Tourlines Ltd owner Stephen Cook said the crash involved one of the buses from his company.

The bus had left Queenstown heading to Milford Sound on Tuesday morning and was heading back to Queenstown when the crash happened, he said.

There were 16 Korean tourists on board, he said.

He had not heard anything about any passengers in the car, he said.

"We're all in shock, we're just really grateful none of the passengers [in the bus] were injured."

The man driving the bus had been with Explorer Tourlines for four years and Cook considered him to be of considerable experience as a bus driver.

'CHALLENGING' ROAD

Southland district councillor for the Mararoa-Waimea ward Ebel Kremer said he welcomed any sort of education for people driving in Fiordland.

There was "room for improvement" on the Te Anau-Milford highway, as the "challenging" road was narrow and windy in parts, Kremer said.

There had been suggestions that the road could benefit from having some lay-bys put in, areas where drivers could pull over to let vehicles past or to take photos, he said.

"That has been in discussion for a period of time and some of those suggestions have been put to NZTA [Transport Agency]," he said.

Sometimes visitors to the area did not realise it took two-and-a-half to three hours to travel from Te Anau to Milford Sound, and when they had to make it to Milford to catch a cruise, anxiety levels would go up, he said.

"If you're not accustomed to the road or New Zealand driving, you need to allow time [to get there]," he said.

Southland area commander Inspector Joel Lamb said the road was now partially open and efforts would be made to fully reopen the route after the vehicles have been recovered.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Killer's final words video

Quinn Patterson rang his sister to say goodbye after gunning down two women in cold blood.

Quinn Patterson's sister reveals the gunman's last phone call after shooting two women dead.

Heavy snow warning in place

Tekapo was temporarily cut off by snow on Thursday.

Five vehicles hit ice and skid off the road in Southland as the cold snap grips the country.

Bike paths a 'war zone'

E-bikes are encouraging people to get on their bikes, but there's debate over use in the cycle lanes.

E-bikes are going off, but cyclists say they can be a nuisance in cycle lanes.

Sparky sees light in challenge

Sam Stevenson is among 10 top electrical apprentices battling it out in the four day Master Electricians Challenge in ...

A north Auckland sparky readies to compete in the electrical industry's toughest contest.

Wellington

'You're not an MP,' candidate told

Before and after. Labour's Tukituki candidate Anna Lorck altered her billboards after complaints were made to the ...

Hawke's Bay Labour candidate's billboard stated she was 'Your Local MP' - except she wasn't.

Log hits worker

A forestry worker was in great pain after being struck by a log in rural Wairarapa. (File photo)

Injured worker struck by log winched out of forestry block and flown to hospital.

Work to clear two slips video

A slip on Evans Bay Parade, Wellington, came down on to the road. The home above has been evacuated.

Major slips across town from each other trigger road closures and home evacuations.

Winter's bite is back video

Cold Antarctic air is behind the front bringing snow to Tekapo and other parts of the South Island.

Wellington in the firing line with gale-force southerlies on the way.

Canterbury

Truck tips, loses load video

Emergency services at the scene of a truck roll-over in central Dunedin on Friday morning.

The truck lost its load, damaging at least three cars outside a Dunedin haberdashery shop.

Sex grooming arrest

A 51-year-old man has been arrested after meeting a young person following online sexual grooming.

A man has been arrested after meeting a young person following sexual grooming online.

'Should be red zoned'

This post-quake rebuild is in one of Christchurch's lowest-lying areas. Now it will have to go to make way for a flood ...

A newly-built home is one of 13 properties to make way for a council flood protection scheme.

School lock-down 'resolved'

Police cordoned off a street near Broomfield School, north of Amberley, after the potential of a firearm risk at a ...

Staff and pupils locked themselves in classrooms during domestic incident nearby.

Waikato

Growth gobbles up rural roads

Roadworks on Hamilton's Kay Road are a blessing in that they slow drivers down, resident Sian Wilson says.

Residents ask council for footpaths and lower speed limits on what were once rural roads.

Home burns to ground

Neighbours were the first to spot the flames surging from the 30m by 15m building around 11.30am on Thursday.

Residents were in a nearby town when they heard the fire siren.

Farmer rams cows with ute

A farm manager rammed the dairy cows from behind (file photo).

Dairy cows were running as fast as they could, but a farmer drove into them.

Maitland's top weekend markets

Plenty of options at a range of markets on in the Waikato to support your community and buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

Stalls brimming with goodies are popping up left, right and centre in the Waikato.

Taranaki

New owners for burger joint

New Prohibition owners Andy Le and Gabby Tran will be keeping the burger restaurant much the same.

A popular New Plymouth burger joint is under new ownership but the burgers won't change.

Collecting for a tangi

The men had collected 251 paua between them.

Two men were caught with 251 paua, 191 of them undersized.

Fail and move on

New Plymouth man Paul Feltoe swam more than 32 kilometres across the Catalina Channel in July.

 A couple of weeks ago New Plymouth man Paul Feltoe got a boat from Los Angeles to Catalina Island - then swam the 32.3kms back.

Firewood running out

A roaring fire maybe a thing of the past unless you've stocked up as supplies of firewood  run out in Taranaki with ...

Stock up in summer to avoid being left out in the cold.

Manawatu

Wowed over WOW

Jennie Munro in her workshop with costumes that have been finalists in Wellington's international World Of Wearable Arts ...

A Palmerston North designer has made the finals of September's wearable arts show.

No intercepting emails

Horizons Regional Council chief executive Michael McCartney sees no reason to intercept emails, unlike Horowhenua ...

Council chief executives see no reason for intercepting emails - unlike Horowhenua council's boss.

Collar-dragging teacher cleared

Clive Stevens with his grandmother Maureen Stevens.

Teacher who dragged special needs student along floor did nothing wrong, investigation finds.

Back to school

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei stopped to talk with Tanika Jeffery, 14, who was learning speech writing in te reo, at ...

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei talks education at her old high school.

Nelson

School first for future Mako video

25072017 NEWS PHOTO BRADEN FASTIER / STUFF
Nelson College 1st XV rugby player Leicester Faingaanuku is to play for ...

Leicester Faingaanuku was just 15 when he signed with the Tasman Makos.

Man critically injured

A man has critical injuries after a car hit a tree on the Coastal Highway.

Driver trapped in a car with serious injuries after a car hit a tree near Nelson.

Car crashes into house

A house that was damaged after a car drove into it on Toi Toi St, Nelson.

A car has crashed into a Nelson home causing substantial damage.

Cafe part of school facelift

Nayland College principal Daniel Wilson with college students Will Roddick, left, Victoria Cockerell and Zoe Fitzgerald ...

Nayland College is set to unveil a new look as the school upgrades its facilities.

Marlborough

'Our niche is Marlborough'

Dog Point Vineyard co-owners and event sponsors Ivan Sutherland, left, and James Healy read up for the Marlborough Book ...

With intimate venues and stunning surrounds, the Marlborough Book Festival is a little different.

Bigger planes?

Sounds Air chief executive Andrew Crawford inside the cockpit of one of the company's 9-seat Pilatus PC-12s.

Demand for flights prompts Marlborough airline to investigate "quantum leap" to larger planes.

Blenheim bemoans unfair fares

Air New Zealand said it would not be reinstating direct flights to Christchurch from Marlborough Airport.

"It's almost like we've offended Air New Zealand somehow and they're making us pay." 

Nurses to move to hub

The district nurses will have a similar amount of storage space at the health hub, the review panel says.

Where they need more staff, new technology and better communication, review finds.

South Canterbury

Region poised for milk boost

While the forecast price rise from Fonterra is good new for South Canterbury dairy farmers, regional Federated Farmers ...

Another $25m added to South Canterbury farmers' milk payout.

Rugby player jailed

Kolinio Yabia Tamanitoakula was jailed for three years, four months and two weeks.

His distressed victim was covered in mud when she ran in front of a car to get help.

Change possible - Falloon

National Party candidate Andrew Falloon met ECan representatives on Thursday, following heated public debate about the ...

Retrofitting plan still on the table, National Party candidate suggests.

Roads reopen, rain continues video

Contractors clear snow from the road at Tekapo on Thursday morning.

Roads to Tekapo reopen as schools send  students home early to avoid flooding.

Southland

Hall off to world champs

New Zealand discus thrower Marshall Hall practices ahead of the 2017 IAAF World Championships.

Invercargill discus thrower 'committed and focused' ahead of IAAF Athletics World Championships.

Ice causing crashes

10082016. News.Kavinda Herath. Southland Times/Stuff-Ice on the Winton Lorneville Highway

Police are warning drivers to take it slow and beware of ice on the roads.

Fire guts city house

Firemen at the scene of the gutted house, which was owned by former mayor Eve Poole, on Friday morning.

A fire has gutted the house of former mayor Eve Poole in Invercargill this morning

Data won't be public

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the ministry had no intention to make information about individual fishing locations public.

Ad Feedback