Two people have been seriously injured in a two-car crash in rural Canterbury this morning, police say.

Another two people were moderately hurt in the crash at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Dromore Methven Rd, 12 kilometres north of Ashburton.

Emergency services were called at 6.09am and all four injured people were trapped in the vehicles following the crash.

A rescue helicopter has been sent from Christchurch and the Serious Crash Unit are also on the way, the spokeswoman said.

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Diversions have been set up around the crash site. Northbound traffic is being diverted down Winchmore Dromore Rd and southbound traffic down Stanley Rd.