Two people have died in a quad bike crash in the Kakanui Ranges, east of Ranfurly, police have confirmed.

Police were called to the crash in the Kakanui Ranges about 4.25pm yesterday.

It is understood a total of eight people were in the area on quad bikes at the time, police said. Police previously said the people were involved in a quad bike tour.

Six injured people were taken to hospital.

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Two people died at the scene and an investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash.

Dunedin Land Search and Rescue were deployed to the scene by a helicopter to assist.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said the incident was "a terrible tragedy".

"My thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives," he said.

Ranfurly is a small town about 110km north of Dunedin.