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36 people injured after bus and logging truck collision

36 people injured after bus and logging truck collision

Eastern Bay of Plenty Police have confirmed that 36 people are receiving medical treatment in Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals following the collision between a school bus and a logging truck near Ruatoki this afternoon.

The injuries sustained range from minor, moderate to critical. An eight year old is listed as a Status One in Rotorua Hospital, and a six year old is listed as a Status Two in Rotorua Hospital. They were transferred to Rotorua Hospital by helicopter.

The truck driver was also transferred to Tauranga Hospital by helicopter. He was initially thought to be in a critical condition but is now stable. He will remain in hospital overnight for observation.

The Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander, Inspector Sandra Venables, says that at approximately 3:30pm this afternoon, it appears that an un-laden logging truck has run into the back of the school bus, however this is part of the ongoing investigation which Police Crash Investigators are undertaking.

"As a result of the crash, both vehicles were knocked into a nearby paddock.

"The collision has caused extensive damage to the rear of the bus, injuring many children. The collision has also caused the truck trailer to roll.

"The bus was carrying students from Trident and Whakatane High Schools, and primary school students from Taneatua. Due to the number of different schools involved, we are still confirming the numbers of students on the bus.

"All of the children were from the Ruatoki Valley area.

"The Bay of Plenty Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit have commenced their investigation at the scene and the area remains cordoned."

Inspector Venables says the cause of the crash is not yet known, but will be fully investigated as part of the CVIU investigation.

"We will not be speculating on the potential causes of the crash until the investigation is complete.

"Our focus now is working with the families and whänau of those who were injured and impacted by the crash, as well as on the crash investigation itself."

Inspector Venables says Police would also like to thank the local community for their help and support following the crash.

"Many members of the local community were on the scene immediately and responded quickly to provide first aid and assistance. It is a very close-knit community and their efforts this afternoon were remarkable and much appreciated by all emergency services."

Inspector Venables says families wanting more information are asked to contact the Whakatane Police Station on 07 3085255.

There will be no further media update tonight. A further media update will be provided tomorrow morning.


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