A person was trapped in a car for more than an hour after the vehicle crashed and rolled near Whakatane.
Northern Fire Communications shift manager Jaron Phillips said although it only took Matata firefighters nine minutes to get to the crash scene on Withy Rd, Manawhe - in-between Matata and Edgecumbe - the extraction of the driver and sole occupant was a delicate procedure.
Phillips said the car ended up on its side after the 6.08am crash, however, because of the driver's injuries, firefighters needed to take their time getting the person out.
They eventually got the person out after cutting a hole through the roof before they were taken to hospital in a serious condition.
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The person was freed at about 7.25am.