Six people have been injured, four seriously, in a two-vehicle crash yesterday on State Highway 6, 14km north of Makarora.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokeswoman said several crews were called to the scene, near the Rata Rd intersection, about 1.50pm.
Lake Hawea Chief Fire Officer Brent Arthur said it was a head-on collision and each vehicle was carrying three people.
Lake Hawea, Makarora and Wanaka fire stations responded with one appliance each.
St John responded with two ambulances, one primary response doctor, five helicopters, one first response unit, one rapid response unit and one manager.
Four people were in a serious condition and were taken to Dunedin hospital by helicopter, while two others were in a moderate condition.
Helicopters Otago chief executive Graeme Gale said the response to the incident was large and well co-ordinated, although the location had posed a challenge to communication.
“What made it quite difficult was there was no cellphone coverage; we were all working on [satellite] phone.”
This situation was not common, but they were equipped to deal with it.
The road between Haast and Makarora was initially closed, but was open to one lane last evening under traffic management. — Additional reporting Oscar Francis