Crane pulls van from water

The body of the driver of a van that plunged into Tauranga Harbour after a three-car crash last night has been found.  

Five other people were injured, including a police officer who suffered hypothermia after jumping off the Maungatapu Bridge to rescue a passenger in the van.  

The driver's body was understood to have been located by police divers inside the submerged van's wreckage late this morning.  

The van has now been winched onto the bridge by a vehicle-mounted crane. It took about 90 minutes for the van to be pulled out of the water.  

Police have cordoned off both sides of the bridge, and a crowd of local people gathered along the shore and outside the Maungatapu marae to watch and wait.

The driver of the van was a Tauranga electrician and he was travelling with a workmate.

The man's body was recovered from the driver's seat.   

The van was badly damaged on the driver's side.   

Water poured from the vehicle as it was winched onto the bridge.   

The van is yet to be taken away.  

Local Maori performed a blessing on the bridge as the van's wreckage was winched up.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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