September 4, 2019 / 3:26 AM / 3 months ago

Five killed in New Zealand as bus with Chinese tourists rolls over

Emergency crew examine the site of an accident in which a bus with tourists flipped to the opposite side of the road in near Rotorua, New Zealand September 4, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. BISHAL JUNG BASNET/Social Media via REUTERS

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A bus carrying 27 people, mostly Chinese tourists, rolled over on a highway in New Zealand’s North Island on Wednesday, killing five people and injuring six, police said.

Police are investigating the accident on State Highway 5 near Rotorua, a popular destination for tourist groups from China, in which the bus flipped to the opposite side of the road on a “moderate to easy bend”, an official said.

“It’s a traumatic incident for all concerned, and it has far-reaching consequences,” Brent Crowe, an inspector in the Bay of Plenty region, told a news conference.

Ethnic liaison officers were coordinating with victims’ families and Chinese officials, he said, adding that police were working with the foreign ministry and the Chinese consulate to notify the next of kin.

An official at the Chinese embassy in Wellington told Reuters it was working with police to identify the victims.

Two of the injured suffered serious injuries, while four were less grievously hurt.

Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Clarence Fernandez

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