Three Boston University students studying abroad in New Zealand were killed when the van they were riding in crashed.

 

Five other students were also hurt in the crash that took place about 7:30 a.m. Saturday New Zealand time, according to BU Today.

 

The identities of those involved in the crash were released Saturday by New Zealand officials. Daniela Lekhno, Roch Jauberty and Austin Brashears were killed in the crash, according to BU Today. Stephen Houseman, Alys McAlpine, Emily Melton and Kathy Moldawer were injured. Margaret Theriault was taken by helicopter to a hospital. She is enrolled in the study abroad program in Sydney, Australia.

 

"This is a horrible tragedy," BU President Robert Brown said in a statement posted on the university's news website. "Our prayers go out the students and their families. We will do all we can to provide comfort and assistance to those who have been injured, and to the families and friends of the victims. The University is mobilizing all of our resources to help our students and families deal with this tragedy."

 

The crash occurred when the van drifted off the roadway on to gravel and then rolled as it came back on the road, according to The New Zealand Herald.

 

Some of the people inside the van were thrown from it during the crash.

The van was traveling behind another van as part of a convoy for the trip.

BU's study abroad program in New Zealand takes place in Auckland and is offered in both the fall and spring semesters.

Counseling is being made available to students in the program in New Zealand as well as here in Boston at the university.