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Injured bus crash survivors thank rescuers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/12/2016

Two men injured in the fatal Christmas Eve bus crash near Gisborne say they are recovering well, despite one losing his leg.

The bus, carrying 53 people, crashed through a road barrier about 30km south of Gisborne.

Two people died and several others were hospitalised.

The injured Tongan men, aged 30 and 18, thanked God and the rescue service workers who treated them after the crash, in a joint statement released by Hawke's Bay Hospital.

"We are getting better each day," the pair said.

They said the 18-year-old had lost his leg as a result of the crash but was recovering well thanks to his doctors.

"His parents are excited he's alive, and the best thing for them is he's going to be ok," the duo said.

"We are looking forward to seeing our people from the bus crash when we are discharged from hospital, but we are doing ok."

The bus had been carrying a school brass band from Tonga, which was travelling to Gisborne's Wesleyan Methodist Church where they were due to perform on Christmas Day.

The holiday road toll stands at 10 with a week to run.

Police recover Gisborne bus wreck

Authorities have reopened State Highway 2 after earlier closing it to recover the wreck of a bus, which had crashed down a steep bank killing two people.

The bus carrying 53 people crashed through a road barrier on Christmas Eve about 30km south of Gisborne.

Tongan citizens Sione Taumololo, 11, and Talita Fifita, 33, died in the crash with several others going to hospital for treatment.

The bus had a school brass band from Tonga on board, which was travelling to Gisborne's Wesleyan Methodist Church where they were due to perform on Christmas Day.

The stretch of SH2 between Gisborne and Wairoa where the crash occurred had been closed from 6am on Wednesday.

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