Fifteen injured after bus rolls in Southland
A witness has described the aftermath of a bus crash that injured 15 tourists.
The tourists, including a 9-year-old boy, were injured after the World Away tourist bus rolled on to its side on the Mossburn-Te Anau Highway in Southland about 9am today.
China Travel Service tour guide William Peng said the bus he was in, which was heading to Doubtful Sound, was ahead of the bus that crashed when they heard it had slipped on ice and rolled.
The driver turned back to help passengers on the crashed bus.
"People started to climb out the roof. There was blood everywhere, but not too serious," Peng said.
The last person to get off the bus had to wait until emergency services arrived.
They had not been trapped, and were put straight on a helicopter, Peng said.
Thirty Chinese nationals were on the bus when it crashed, police said.
A 55-year-old man had been taken by helicopter to Southland Hospital with chest and back pain, along with a female, age unknown, with a fractured ankle.
A 52-year-old woman with chest, shoulder and neck pain had also been flown to Southland Hospital.
Police said a 9-year-old boy was flown to Dunedin Hospital with abdominal injuries.
The bus driver was taken to Southland Hospital as a precaution.
The uninjured people were being driven back to Te Anau.
Police were liaising with the Chinese consulate in Christchurch over the incident.
Power was initially out as a result of the bus hitting the power pole but is believed to have been restored.
Three rescue helicopters attended the accident, along with ambulances and firefighters from northern Southland.
The police serious-crash unit and commercial vehicle investigation unit were on their way to the crash scene.
People in the area had reported the roads are dangerous with black ice. Police said there were two further crashes in the area at the same time.
A grit truck has been through the area and the road is open to eastbound traffic at the crash scene. It may be several hours before the road is fully reopened.
The Southland Times