MEXICO CITY (AFP) – A tour bus crash in southeastern Mexico killed eight Americans, two Swedes and a Canadian, as well as their Mexican guide, Mexican officials said on Wednesday (Dec 20).
The bus, which skidded and rolled off the road early Tuesday in Quintana Roo state, was transporting passengers from two US-based cruise ships to archeological sites.
Along with the fatalities, the crash left 13 people injured, the Mexican officials said in a statement.
US authorities earlier on Wednesday confirmed “multiple” American deaths in the crash.
“We express our heartfelt condolences to all those affected by this tragedy,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
“We are in contact with local authorities, and will continue to monitor the situation,” she said.
“We have staff on the scene and at local hospitals to assist victims and loved ones.”
The Quintana Roo state government said three of the injured are Canadian, four Brazilian and four American, and that two injured Swedes had been transferred to the United States.
EN ROUTE TO MAYAN RUINS
The accident occurred near the Caribbean coastal town of Mahahual, on the Costa Maya about 290km south of the popular tourist city of Cancun, where numerous cruises come in to dock.
The passengers on the bus were from two cruise ships run by Royal Caribbean, a major US company based in Miami.
The ships, the Celebrity Equinox and the Serenade of the Seas, each with a capacity of more than 2,400 passengers, were sailing from Florida on week-long Caribbean voyages.
Royal Caribbean’s corporate office tweeted on its @RCLCorp feed that the 27 passengers had been on their way to Chacchoben, a site of 1,400-year-old Mayan pyramids.
“We are working with the local authorities to learn more about the accident. We are doing all we can to help our guests,” it said.
The causes of the accident were not yet known.
Images from the scene showed the coach flipped on its side next to a tree-lined road; several passengers could be seen around the vehicle.
The driver survived and was being detained for questioning.
Quintana Roo is Mexico’s most popular destination for foreign tourists.