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Police to recover Gisborne bus wreck

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/12/2016

Motorists travelling to the Rhythm and Vines music festival along State Highway 2 are urged to be patient as authorities plan to close the road to recover the wreck of a fatal bus crash.

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

Tongan citizens Sione Taumololo, 11, and Talita Fifita, 33, died in the Christmas Eve crash and 10 others are still in three separate hospitals in stable condition.

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.

Authorities aim to recover the bus on Wednesday as they close SH2 between Gisborne and Wairoa from 6am to midday.

Diversions will be in place via Tiniroto Road and Frasertown, police say.

With Rhythm and Vines to kick off at a winery near Gisborne on Thursday, police have asked motorists to drive carefully.

The area around the crash site will also be reduced to one lane on Tuesday between 5pm and 8.30pm.

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