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Two people are dead and a survivor remains injured in hospital after a "serious crash" near the Homer Tunnel, in Fiordland, last night.
Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes, of Invercargill, said two helicopters, police and fire service personnel attended, and it was understood one helicopter was equipped with a winch to recover one crashed vehicle.
Snr Sgt Raynes said emergency services were called about 7pm.
The recovered vehicle, a Subaru Forester, had fallen about 5m down the side of a cliff.
The crash had occurred on the Milford side of the tunnel, about 1km from the entrance.
Two fire crews, St John, police, Department of Conservation workers and two doctors at the scene worked to rescue the injured person and recover the bodies of the two dead before darkness fell, Snr Sgt Raynes said about 9pm.
A police spokesman late last night said the injured person had been taken to Southland Hospital, in Invercargill.
The police serious crash unit was planning to conduct a scene examination this morning.
There was no indication of what caused the crash, and details about the occupants of the vehicles, including their nationalities, were unknown.