A major multiple-vehicle crash caused traffic mayhem in Tauranga near Maungatapu and left two people with serious injuries.

Shortly after 10am on Saturday, four cars crashed on State Highway 29A just a few hundred metres from Maungatapu Bridge, on the BayPark side.

The stretch of road was closed for about five hours and traffic coming from both directions was diverted while emergency services cut a person from the wreckage and worked to clear the scene.

Fire service Northern Communications Centre shift manager Daniel Nicholson said firefighters removed one person from a car in a serious condition, who was then taken to Tauranga Hospital by ambulance.

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A second patient, also in a serious condition, was also taken to hospital.

A St John Ambulance spokesperson said three others suffered minor injuries.

A caller to the Bay of Plenty Times said he drove past the collision and "it looked pretty bad".

"One of the motors has come clean out of a car," he said.

The crash caused severe congestion in the area. The road was closed until about 3pm.