Fatal crash, incidents keep services busy

A fatal crash near Duntroon and other incidents, including fires and car and mountain bike crashes, made for a hectic day for emergency services around the region on Saturday.

Police received a report a vehicle had been spotted at the bottom of a remote gully off Clarkesfield Rd at Elephant Hill in South Canterbury about 12.40pm.

One person was found dead inside the vehicle, but further details of what happened and the person’s identity were not available yesterday.

Otago Rescue Helicopter chief pilot Graeme Gale said it had been a "very busy weekend" and the rescue helicopter had attended car accidents, hospital transfers and two mountain bike accidents near Queenstown on Saturday.

"We’ve been everywhere this weekend," he said.

Details of the two incidents were unavailable. However, a St John spokeswoman said one of them happened at Coronet Peak, and resulted in a person being flown to hospital.

Another person was airlifted to hospital in Southland on the same day after he was injured during a fundraising trail bike ride held at Glencairn Station in Waikaia.

Emergency services were called about 12.30pm after he reportedly broke his ankle, and he was flown by helicopter to Southland Hospital in Invercargill.

On the roads, emergency services including a rescue helicopter and two ambulances attended what police initially described as a crash and later called an "incident" about 4.40pm south of Lumsden between Josephville-St Patrick’s Rd and Brown Rd on Saturday.

"One person was reported to have moderate injuries. The circumstances of the incident will be subject to investigation," a spokeswoman said.

Police were also alerted to a crash near Balclutha shortly before 5pm the same day in Clutha Valley Rd, in which one person received moderate injuries.

Firefighters attended two controlled burns on Saturday, one west of Gore and one at Kaihiku, between Balclutha and Clinton.

A Fire Emergency New Zealand spokesman said the incidents were a reflection of the start of the fire season, and he wanted to remind people who had fires in pits in the last month to check they were out properly.

"It is starting to dry out."

Seven volunteer fire crews from Gore, Balfour, Riversdale and Hedgehope were called to the burn-off near Gore after it jumped the containment line.

Fenz could not confirm the scale of the blaze but the initial burn-off was "reasonably large" beforehand.

The other blaze at Kaihiku was under control when fire crews arrived, just before 11am.

Emergency services in Dunedin were also kept busy on the weekend, six fire appliances rushing to a building on Saturday after a heat pump started a small fire. The fire was put out quickly, with the job closed 30 minutes after the first call.

A Fenz spokesman said fire crews from Willowbank and Dunedin were also called after a car went into the water at the entrance to the Ravensbourne walkway in Dunedin yesterday about 1.45pm. The driver was uninjured.



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