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article imageMexico bus crash kills Americans, Swedes, Canadian: officials

By Sylvain ESTIBAL (AFP)     Dec 20, 2017 in World

A tour bus crash in southeastern Mexico killed eight Americans, two Swedes and a Canadian, as well as their Mexican guide, Mexican officials said Wednesday.

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.

Mexico bus crash
Mexico bus crash

"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 290 kilometers (180 miles) 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.

Video grab of Mexican police officers standing guard in the area where a bus driving tourists to Cha...
Video grab of Mexican police officers standing guard in the area where a bus driving tourists to Chacchoben archaeological zone overturned in the road between El Cafetal and Mahahual, in Quintana Roo state, Mexico on December 19, 2017
Manuel Jesús ORTEGA CANCHE, AFP/File

"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.

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