One person has died after a school bus left the road and crashed into ditch on State Highway 3 in Inglewood, Taranaki, this afternoon.

The person who died was the 69-year-old male bus driver.

Police confirmed that 13 passengers aged 12-17 were on the bus at the time of the crash, suffering mostly minor injuries.

Ten passengers were taken to Taranaki Base Hospital where they are being assessed.

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Of the 10 patients taken to the hospital nine have now been discharged. One passenger is still being assessed and is in a stable condition.

Three other passengers were taken to a local medical centre to be assessed and have now been released to their parents.

The incident is the second fatal bus crash in a fortnight and the third serious crash involving a bus.

State Highway 3 remains closed as inquiries into the circumstances surrounding today's crash are ongoing.

It is likely to be closed for a further two hours. The road is also expected to be closed again tomorrow morning to enable the removal of the bus.

The bus was Route 3022 and parents of children who were on this bus have been asked to go to Inglewood High School.

A Tranzit Coachlines spokeswoman confirmed a Tranzit school bus was involved in the incident.

"Our manager has been on site with the school and we are waiting to hear from emergency services who were at the accident site," she said.

A police spokesperson said the bus had gone off the road, down the side of a bank and into a ditch.

A Fire and Emergency NZ spokesman said earlier that four appliances were attending the incident. He said there were no reports of people trapped.

A St John spokeswoman said there were six ambulances and one intensive-care paramedic on scene assessing the passengers.

Traffic is being diverted at the intersection of State Highway 3 and Lepper Rd.

The road conditions are wet and rain is falling in the area.

The serious crash unit is en-route, and not expected on site until after 7pm.

An Inglewood High School spokesperson said earlier that all they knew was that there had been a crash involving a school bus.

She said police had informed them that they were bringing students back to the school.

Inglewood High School posted on Facebook saying, "Please be aware that the Egmont Village Bus has been involved in an accident.

"This is a developing scenario but as far as we are aware, no-one has been injured.

"We have been told that the police will be ferrying students back to Inglewood High School. This is all we know at present. We will keep you updated.

"Please refrain from coming down to the school. Thank you for your consideration and patience as we work through this unexpected situation."

Inglewood Primary School Board of Trustees chairman Grant Kenny posted on the school's Facebook page to tell parents that no Inglewood Primary School students were travelling on the bus.

"Our thoughts are with everyone at this time," he wrote.

Please be aware that the Egmont Village Bus has been involved in an accident. This is a developing scenario but as far...

Posted by Inglewood High School on Tuesday, 7 August 2018

It is third serious incident involving buses in the last fortnight.

Last Thursday 19 people were injured after the bus they were travelling in crashed into a ditch by State Highway 1 in the Manawatu.

Another bus crash on Mt Ruapehu killed 11-year-old girl Hannah Francis after the vehicle she was travelling in lost control and rolled near Tūroa skifield on July 28.

Last Thursday 19 people were injured after the bus they were travelling in crashed into a ditch by State Highway 1 in the Manawatu.
Last Thursday 19 people were injured after the bus they were travelling in crashed into a ditch by State Highway 1 in the Manawatu.

Both buses involved in the Manawatū ​ditch and Mt Ruapehu crashes were Mitsubishi Fuso models from the 1990s.

The group travelling through State Highway 1 in the Manawatū was carrying an iwi group that had travelled to Parliament to protest the Pare Hauraki Treaty settlement deed signing.

Police said then that six people were taken to Palmerston North Hospital with moderate injuries and 13 went to Whanganui Hospital with minor injuries.

The 1994 Mitsubishi Fuso bus that crashed and killed Francis had failed nine inspections between 2006 and 2016.

It has been reported that the bus' brakes failed before crashing into a bank and rolling.

More to come.