An Australian tourist remains in a serious condition after falling into the Rotorua sinkhole

A visitor from Australia has been taken to Waikato Hospital in a serious but stable condition after being injured when he fell into a hot water sinkhole at Whakarewarewa – The Living Māori Village in Rotorua.

The second person involved in the fall was also treated, but not hospitalized.

The village has also been temporarily closed to visitors while an investigation is carried out.

A sinkhole that opened up at Mukrewa Village in Rotorua left two tourists injured after they fell into it. (Benn Bathgate/Things)

St John paramedics were called to the village on Tryon St shortly after 2pm on Thursday, a spokesman said.

One patient in a critical condition and another with moderate injuries were taken to Rotorua Hospital by ambulance.

A Rotorua Hospital spokeswoman said on Friday morning that one person was in a serious but stable condition, but could not comment on whether the patient would be transferred to another hospital.

Village spokesman Mike Gibbons said he understood the injured were a couple from Perth, Western Australia, who were walking on a trail near the village entrance and were injured after falling into a fumarole (sinkhole geothermal).

Mr Gibbons said the village would be temporarily closed to visitors until a “full investigation and assessment” had been carried out by the relevant authorities, including WorkSafe and the Rotorua Lakes Council.

A sinkhole that opened up at Mukrewa Village in Rotorua left two tourists injured after they fell into it. (Benn Bathgate/Things)

He said WorkSafe and a council maintenance team were on site to carry out an initial inspection.

“The area surrounding the fumarole, which is estimated to be 2m long by 1m wide and up to 1m deep… has been closed to the public, pending assessment by WorkSafe .

Caravan and shed swallowed by a sinkhole after the flood

“It appears that the soil may have been compromised following the recent heavy rains.”

Gibbons said their first priority was to provide support to the visiting family and they hoped to get an update on his medical condition later today.

He also acknowledged the efforts of his team who were the first to respond to the scene.

In a statement, Rotorua Lakes Council said they were notified of the incident shortly before 2.15pm on Thursday and staff from their road contractor were immediately dispatched to the scene to bring it to safety .

“The area around the hole remains cordoned off and the road is closed, with signage in place,” the council said.

“The road repair work will begin as soon as possible and other roads in the town will be checked as a precaution.

“The council will be in touch with their contacts in the village to keep residents informed of progress.”

This article first appeared on Things. Republished with permission.

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