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Queenstown police are not sure how long a woman was trapped with serious injuries in a vehicle between an embankment and a building in the resort.
The woman was the sole occupant of the black Honda Odyssey, which was wedged on its side at the rear of the Gorge Road Retail Centre.
Emergency services were called about 10.30am yesterday.
The woman was extracted about 11.15am and taken by ambulance to Lakes District Hospital.
She was later transferred to Dunedin Hospital.
''No-one has heard anything, as far as we're aware.
''It was reported from a person who was opening up for work in the morning in the Gorge Road Retail [centre].''
Sgt Wood said that person noticed the interior wall of the premises had buckled, so went outside to investigate and found the car, with one woman trapped inside.
''It appears to have been travelling from town, towards Arthurs Point, and the vehicle has run off the road.''
The front of the vehicle was pointing south, towards Queenstown.
''It looks the way the markings [are] on the wall, the car has probably rolled over on its front in that wedge position, but just with the inertia of the vehicle just carried on forward.
''Its bumper bar is well on the town side ... it's indicating it has come through the bush further up towards town.''
Sgt Wood said it was a tricky excavation in a ''very narrow, very confined, dirty'' space.
Once firefighters was satisfied the vehicle was secured, emergency services personnel got under the car and extracted the woman through the passenger's side, before stretchering her to a waiting ambulance.
Power was turned off to the building and it would be checked to ensure it was structurally secure.