A tourist bus crash on New Zealand’s South Island has resulted in five people being flown to hospital with serious injuries, police said.

The bus collided with a car at Otira Gorge, which is on the main highway traversing the Southern Alps between Christchurch on the east coast and Greymouth on the west coast, police said in a statement on Thursday. Some 36 people were involved, including three in the car, and all were tourists, police said.

Five were flown by helicopter to Christchurch hospital in a serious condition, and three others were taken by road to Greymouth, police said. The bus is on its side on the road, which is expected to remain closed for several hours as emergency services attend the scene.

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