Four people have been injured, three seriously, after a car and truck collided near Rotorua this afternoon.

Police, ambulance, fire crews and two rescue helicopters attended the crash which has closed the road.

A police spokeswoman said the crash happened about 2pm at the intersection of State Highway 5 and Oturoa Rd.

Emergency services at the scene of the crash. Photo / Ben Fraser
Emergency services at the scene of the crash. Photo / Ben Fraser

The four injured people were in the car. Two have serious to critical injuries, one is seriously injured and the fourth person has moderate injuries.

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Fire Communications shift manager Craig Dally confirmed firefighters attended the crash and of the four patients, three were initially trapped.

"Three people are trapped so we're working to extricate them."

A Rotorua Daily Post reporter at the scene said traffic heading to the scene of the crash was backed up for about a kilometre.

She said it appeared the crash victims had been cut out of the vehicle and were being prepared for transport in the helicopters.

In a statement, police said, "a number of people have serious injuries" after the collision.

"There are diversions in place at Dansey Rd and Maraeroa Rd, and motorists are asked to avoid the area if possible."

Emergency services at the scene of the crash. Photo / Ben Fraser
Emergency services at the scene of the crash. Photo / Ben Fraser

A St John spokeswoman said there were three ambulances, one Jeep and two helicopters at the scene.

The helicopters had been dispatched from Taupō and Tauranga.

A witness at the scene said she understood the crash happened while the car was attempting to make a u-turn.

The witness said the car was "squished against the side of the truck".

State Highway 5 is closed at the intersection of State Highway 36. Westbound traffic is being diverted north on State Highway 36, left onto Oturoa Rd and right onto State Highway 5.

The detour is not suitable for heavy vehicles.