Bus crashes near Akaroa

More than 30 tourists have been injured after a bus collided with a car and plunged down a bank near Akaroa in the Banks Peninsula.

Three people have been airlifted to Christchurch Hospital and two are in a critical condition after the crash shortly after 5pm.

The passengers were from a cruise ship anchored in Akaroa Harbour, believed to be the Celebrity Solstice.

The accident happened shortly after 5pm on Wednesday.

A woman who didn't see the accident but arrived a short time later says she was told the bus had hit the car.

"The bus was actually over the white line," she told Newshub.

akaroa bus crash
Two people were seriously injured in the crash (Newshub.)

There were cordons on SH75 in and out of Akaroa and motorists are advised to use Pigeon Bay Rd instead to re-join Summit Rd.

The Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit and the Serious Crash Unit have been advised.