Bus and car crash near Te Anau

Police have no idea how many people were in the car which crashed with a bus on the Te Anau-Milford Highway in Southland this afternoon.

Both vehicles caught fire and police said due to the extent of the fire they were unable to to search the car for occupants.

A Fire Service spokesman said emergency services, including firefighters from Te Anau Station, responded to a crash between a bus and a car, 200m north of Te Anau Downs, on the Te Anau-Milford Highway, just before 3pm.

The car and bus were "well-involved'' in fire when the crew arrived, he said.

A police communications spokesman said everyone was out of the bus but some people sustained minor injuries and were taken by ambulance to a medical practice in Te Anau.

St John spokesman Ian Henderson said four people with moderate injuries were taken by ambulance to the Southland Hospital emergency department.

Explorer Tourlines owner Stephen Cook, of Christchurch, said the crash involved one of his buses.

The bus was travelling between Queenstown and Milford Sound and was returning to Queenstown at the time of the crash, he said.

There were 16 Korean tourists on board, he said.

The bus driver was experienced and he had been driving for Explorer Tourlines for four years, Mr Cook said.

Southland Area Commander, Inspector Joel Lamb said police are working to ascertain who was in the car.

The Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit is also investigating.

Police are seeking witnesses to the event.

The road is now partially open and efforts were being made to fully reopen the road after the vehicles in the crash have been recovered.


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