Tributes for the men who died in a Papatoetoe bus crash yesterday have started to emerge.

The two pedestrians were hit by the 380 Airporter bus at the intersection of Wyllie Rd and Puhinui Rd about 7pm.

One of the men who died was in his 20s, the other was in his 30s. Their names are likely to be released tomorrow.

Senior Sergeant Pete Marriott confirmed the bus was travelling away from the airport and turned left up Wyllie Rd.

Advertisement

He said three passengers were on the bus at the time of the crash. They were not injured and were sent home.

The bus driver was being supported and would be taken home in due time, he said.

Manukau East MP Jenny Salesa gave her "thoughts and prayers" to all the family and friends of the two men who died.

"I am truly sorry for your loss and I hope our Heavenly Father can bring you comfort during this very challenging time."

Another woman wrote that the accident was "devastating".

"Much luv and prayers to cuz and rest of whanau."

Many people wrote about the love they wanted to give to the families who had lost the men.

"Aroha to the families that have lost loved ones tonight.

"Very sad our condolences to the families and rest in peace to the loved ones who died in this very sad tragedy."

A reporter at the scene last night said a woman standing inside the cordon could be heard wailing and some at the scene were hugging.

A witness at the scene told the Herald the bodies of two people, which had been covered with a white sheet, lay in the middle of the road.

The bus was parked up on the side of the road as well.

"It looks like the bus has collected these people and now two are dead."

A man who lives nearby, Avin Prasad, said the bus involved was the number 380, a bright orange bus that travels to Auckland Airport and is also known as "The Airporter".

Senior Sergeant Pete Marriott said the two men killed were locals.

"It is incredibly tragic that two people have lost their lives this evening who were just out for the evening and our thoughts are with families at this time," he said.

The two men appeared to be on the road at the time of the crash but it was too early to say exactly what had happened. The traffic lights were working when police arrived, he said.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating the circumstances of the crash.

Go Bus chief executive Calum Haslop said the company was co-operating fully with police to determine exactly what happened.

"Words cannot begin to express our sorrow to the families of those who lost their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with them," he said.

"We are supporting the driver, who will understandably be stood down whilst the investigation is underway and their wellbeing is cared for.

"We will continue to assist and work with investigators."

First Union bus organiser Graham McKean said he had contacted the bus company today.

"Of course they are still going through their investigation. I will be visiting on Tuesday and will be looking to support the driver as best as I possibly can," he said.

He said First Union would act in any capacity it could to support the driver and families involved.

He said the investigation was ongoing and he was unaware of any charges or action being taken at this point.