5 Feb 2014

Van plunges into Southland river

6:09 am on 5 February 2014

Victim support and the Canadian and Chinese embassies have been assisting police after a van carrying 10 visitors to New Zealand plunged into the Mataura River in Southland.

The driver of the van, which was carrying a group of family and friends from Hong Kong, died when the vehicle hit a one-lane bridge and went into the river about 1.20pm on Tuesday.

The accident happened on State Highway 6 near Athol, 55km south of Queenstown.

Seven passengers were taken to Invercargill Hospital, while the other two returned to Dunedin with minor injuries.

Police have completed a scene examination and the road at the intersection of State Highway 6 and Nokomai Road has been re-opened on Tuesday.