Ten remain in hospital after bus crash

The scene of the bus crash at Otira Gorge, which has left one person in a critical condition. Photo / 3 News
The scene of the bus crash at Otira Gorge, which has left one person in a critical condition. Photo / 3 News

Ten people are still in Christchurch Hospital after the bus crash near Arthur's Pass on New Year's Eve.

A Swiss national who had been in a critical condition yesterday was now stable and a Chinese national had been discharged yesterday, said a hospital spokeswoman.

Another Swiss national and eight Chinese nationals were in a stable condition and it was possible another Chinese national would be discharged today, although the spokeswoman could not yet confirm that.

Sixteen people were injured on New Year's Eve when a bus and a van collided in the Otira Gorge in the alpine South Island.

Some patients were taken to Grey Base Hospital on the West Coast and later transferred to Christchurch.

The packed tourist bus skidded to a halt barely a metre short of a cliff edge.

Members of the public tended to crash victims before police, paramedics, firefighters and multiple helicopters arrived.

The bus was believed to belong to Travlon Coachlines.

A staff member at Travlon refused to comment today, referring queries to police.

Witnesses reported the bus was going fast before the crash, Li Xin from the Chinese consulate in Christchurch and Tasman road policing manager Inspector Iain McKenzie told Fairfax today.

"From the descriptions from the passengers it seems the coach was travelling very fast. All of them told us that," Li Xin said.

The bus had been travelling from Franz Josef to Christchurch.

- NZ Herald

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