The family of a Chinese man injured in the Otira Gorge bus crash near Arthurs Pass chartered a private plane to fly him home to the people's republic.

He was one of 16 people injured -- two of them critically -- in the accident on New Year's Eve.

The man's family were eager to repatriate their son to China as soon as possible and became anxious when his condition delayed this, said the acting chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Board, Mary Gordon.

"Once we could ensure he was well enough to be transported, we helped co-ordinate arrangements at the family's request to privately charter a plane and private medical staff necessary to accompany the patient on his flight home last Friday," Ms Gordon said.


The board was unable to provide any further information on the patient's medical care due to patient privacy considerations.

Yesterday, one patient remained in Christchurch Hospital in a comfortable condition.

- Greymouth Star