15 April 2008
Five people are dead and three people are missing following an incident in rugged bush in the National Park area, Ruapehu in the Central North Island.
At about 4pm a group of 12 people, including 10 students from the Auckland Elim Christian College got into difficulties while negotiating the Mangatepopo George in the Tongariro Forest.
The students had been attending an outdoor training course at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre.
Initial reports indicate the group got into difficulty and were swept away in the Mangatepopo Stream.
Police and Search and Rescue personnel from across the Central North Island have rushed to the scene to try and locate the missing people. They will remain in the field overnight and be replaced by reinforcements at daybreak.
A press conference will be held for media at the Outdoor Pursuits Centre tomorrow at 7.30am.
No further information is available at this time.