At least two people lost their lives after a car plunged into Lake Rotomā near Rotorua yesterday.

The police dive squad was this morning searching for the occupants of the car, which left State Highway 30 at 12.40pm.

This afternoon, police confirmed at least two people were killed in the crash.

Specialist divers went into the water early today and the silver car was pulled out just before lunch.

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The police dive squad have this morning begun their search for occupants of a car that crashed into Lake Rotoma yesterday. Photo / Andrew Warner
The police dive squad have this morning begun their search for occupants of a car that crashed into Lake Rotoma yesterday. Photo / Andrew Warner

A Lake Rotomā resident said the corner was notorious for crashes.

Shane, who wished to be known only by his first name, said he used to live across the road from the corner for about four years before moving down the road a few years ago.

In that time people often lost control of their cars on that corner, he said.

"I"ve seen a few accidents but nothing where they've gone right in."

Police divers resurface after searching Lake Rotoma for occupants of a car that plunged into the lake yesterday. Photo / Andrew Warner
Police divers resurface after searching Lake Rotoma for occupants of a car that plunged into the lake yesterday. Photo / Andrew Warner

Shane said a metal safety barrier had recently been installed.

"Since that happened, we haven't had many crashes - until now. It's pretty unreal."

Shane and his son-in-law had been travelling from his home to visit his daughter, who also lives at the lake, within minutes of the crash, he said.

"We had actually driven past the crash site just 10 minutes before we heard the sirens."

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Police at the scene of the crash. Photo / Andrew Warner
Police at the scene of the crash. Photo / Andrew Warner

Shane spoke to the Rotorua Daily Post while watching the car wreck be pulled from the water.

He said the corner has a layby where people who are diving or swimming often park their cars.

"It would've probably saved their lives, if there were cars parked there."

Police said the two people were found dead and recovered from the lake by the dive squad.

Police were working to support the family of the dead.