Police confirm three teenagers dead in Christchurch crash

Police have confirmed the occupants of a fatal crash in Christchurch on Sunday night were teenagers.

The crash occurred just after 11pm on Sunday after the vehicle they were in hit spikes laid by police, crashed into a tree and then caught fire.

Police confirmed the vehicle, a Mazda Familia, had been stolen earlier that night.

The vehicle was travelling in excess of 130km/h in the Christchurch CBD when police began the pursuit, which lasted only one minute.

Police officers quickly abandoned the pursuit due to the dangerous way the vehicle was being driven. 

Superintendent John Price said officers tried to get the occupants out of the wreck but were unsuccessful due to the flames. 

"There has been a ball of fire, we know this from CCTV footage," Price said.

He said the two officers were injured in the attempt to save the occupants of the vehicle and are now recovering at home.

The officers are "devastated" with the outcome, Price said. 

"The officers did not go to work yesterday to do anything but keep our community safe and this is not the result they wanted at all.

"When you lose a young person in an incident like this, there are no winners."

A disaster victim identification team is working to identify the teens. Police are still informing the victim's next of kin. 

Police continue to warn anyone who is signalled to stop by police to do so. 

"It is not worth putting your life, your passengers life, or anyone else's life at risk," Price said. 

An investigation into the incident has been opened with the Independent Police Conduct Authority.