Five killed in New Zealand as bus with Chinese tourists rolls over

Five killed in New Zealand as bus with Chinese tourists rolls over”

A bus carrying up to 23 passengers believed to be Asian tourists rolled into a ditch on the State Highway 5 near Rotorua in heavy rain on Wednesday morning.

Bay of Plenty police inspector Brent Crowe said there were 27 people on board the bus and five people have died.

The Rotorua Post newspaper reported six people were feared dead.

An official at the Chinese embassy in Wellington told Reuters it was working with police to identify the victims. Several passengers suffered injuries and were transported to hospitals.

A number of people were taken to hospitals in Hamilton, Rotorua and Tauranga.

It went to the wrong side of the road, corrected and subsequently flipped.

The "medium-sized" tourist bus contained Chinese nationals and the driver of the bus is not seriously injured.

There were no other vehicles involved in the accident.

Crowe said he could not answer whether the passengers were wearing seatbelts or not, this would be part of the investigation.

Emergency services attend fatal tourist bus crash near Rotorua. "We've got to do this meticulously carefully and with respect for those that have lost their lives".

Emergency services remain at the scene.

"The road is closed, and diversions will be in place".

Police and five helicopters are at the scene of the bus crash in Ngatira, near Rotorua.

Some survivors were taken to Rotorua's ambulance base, including one man who was limping heavily and had to be helped into a wheelchair.

It said two people had serious injuries, four moderate and a further 15 were undergoing assessment.

"We are assessing patients and will update any information as it comes to hand".

The Red Cross Disaster Welfare and Support Team has been activated, with volunteers supporting those affected by the crash.

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