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Alcohol is believed to be a factor in a collision between two cars at the Cromwell end of the Kawarau Gorge this morning, police say.
A male and female from one vehicle were airlifted to Dunstan Hospital with ''reasonably serious'' injuries, Senior Sergeant Matt Scoles said.
The pair were trapped in their vehicle for a period before being cut free, he said.
Another female, the sole occupant of the other vehicle, was taken to the Cromwell Medical Centre to be treated for shock, but did not receive any injuries.
The road was closed at either end for periods as emergency services worked at the scene, before being cleared and opened about 11.15am.
Road conditions overnight in Central Otago had been described as ''pretty good'', and it was not clear if driving conditions were a factor.
It was not immediately clear in which direction the vehicles had been travelling, but it was thought they collided head-on, Snr Sgt Scoles said.
Inquiries were continuing.