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Police say it is fortunate no-one was killed when a van carrying 15 teenagers crashed off a road in Upper Moutere, west of Nelson, last night.

Sergeant Blair Hall said the Toyota van crashed into a ditch off Rosedale Rd before hitting a tree at about 10pm.

"None of the teenagers in the back were wearing seatbelts and were sitting on unsecured seats and couches in the back of the van," Mr Hall said.

Injuries ranged from minor to more serious but none was life threatening.

Mr Hall said the crash scene was like a "war zone" and was attended by several ambulances and volunteer fire staff.

"The van was extensively damaged and it is very fortunate that a family is not mourning the loss of a loved one."

Mr Hall said the 17-year-old driver of the van was likely to face charges over the crash.