Airbags required to lift bus off man

A distraught Wellington bus driver is off work after a man was left trapped and injured under his bus.

A Wellington man was still in a serious condition in hospital yesterday afternoon after the latest in a series of accidents involving pedestrians and buses in the capital.

Emergency services were called to the corner of Pirie and Austin streets, near the entrance to the Mt Victoria bus tunnel, about 2.50am on Saturday to free a 21-year-old man who had been hit by a returning night-rider bus.

Yesterday, the man was stable in the intensive care unit after receiving significant injuries to his legs.

The fire service used inflated airbags to lift the bus off the man.

NZ Bus chief executive Rachel Drew said a Go Wellington night-rider bus heading back into town had struck the man.

"The driver is understandably pretty distraught and we are providing him with support."

She said there were no passengers on the bus when the incident happened and police were investigating.

"We have offered the driver time off and he will come back to work when he is ready," Drew said.

The latest incident follows on from a woman being hit by a bus in Manners St in February - just a month after a man in his 60s was hit by a Valley Flyer bus in the same street.

Since the Manners St stretch of the Golden Mile was changed to bus lanes in 2010, at least 13 pedestrians have been hit by buses.

A jogger died when she was hit by a bus in Willis St in 2011, and temporary barriers were installed for four months after NZ Bus director Tim Brown was hit by a bus in 2012.

The Dominion Post