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Woman killed in Great Ocean Rd crash

A bus has plunged down a ravine on the Great Ocean Road killing one woman and leaving two others in a critical condition.

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One woman is dead and two people are in a critical condition after a tourist bus plunged off a cliff on the Great Ocean Road.

Police said they believe the bus, which was carrying seven people, crashed 20 metres down a ravine near the intersection of The Boulevard at Gellibrand Lower around 2pm on Thursday.

The female passenger died at the scene.

Police said the bus appeared to have been carrying adult Korean tourists.

Emergency services worked for about an hour to free four trapped passengers from the wreckage, an Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said.

An 18-year-old man remains in a critical condition on Thursday evening, with head and chest injuries, after being flown to The Alfred hospital, she said.

A man, aged in his 30s, who was also flown to The Alfred in a critical condition, had improved to stable.

Another two men, aged 46 and 47, were flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital suffering critical injuries.

One of the men was discharged late on Thursday night. The other man was in a stable condition.

The 46-year-old has back and head injuries and the 47-year-old also has back injuries.

Two women passengers, aged 18 and 20, were taken by ambulance to Geelong Hospital in a stable condition.

Four helicopters were at the scene to transfer the injured passengers.

The accident happened on a wet road on a sweeping bend.  The bus went over a guard rail before plunging down the gully through thick forest. 

The bus appeared to be travelling west towards Princetown and crossed the oncoming lane before crashing over a guard rail and into the gully, coming to rest on its wheels.

Ambulance Victoria spokesman Paul Holman described the rescue as distressing, difficult and a "major operation".

"We have managed to get all critical patients from the remote area back to Melbourne within 2.5 hours ...  all the agencies had to work together in difficult circumstances," Mr Holman said.

"These scenes are extremely distressing at the best of times, but this was in such a remote area, it was difficult to access it from the road and air. 

"For whatever reason, it has gone off the road down an embankment and hit a tree. It is unclear as to why that has happened."

Nearby resident Tony Duynhoven said the accident happened on a sweeping bend that had been the scene of a number of mishaps.

Mr Duynhoven said there had been an accident on the bend only about six weeks ago with people in a car suffering minor injuries.

He said the scrub on the roadside in the area had been cut back following the accident.

VicRoads said the Great Ocean Road road is closed between Princetown Rd and Gellibrand River Road.

Drivers should detour via Princetown Road and Lavers Hill-Colac Road. Detour points are manned. 

Vicroads said drivers are advised to comply with any instructions given on site by emergency services or VicRoads.

with The Standard, Jane Lee