8 Americans among 12 killed in Mexico bus crash

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Dec. 20, 2017 at 1:31 PM
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Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Eight of 12 people killed when a tour bus overturned in Mexico were Americans, the tourism ministry of Quintana Roo state confirmed Wednesday.

One tour guide and 11 tourists, traveling to the Chacchoben archeological site as part of a cruise ship excursion, died when their bus overturned on a two-lane road with no shoulder Tuesday. The crash injured 14 others and police subsequently detained the driver. The bus was on its side when police and emergency personnel arrived.

The U.S. State Department confirmed Tuesday that Americans were included among the casualties but did not provide names or an exact number. The Quintana Roos ministry said two Swedish citizens and one Canadian citizen died, and that tourists from the United States, Brazil, Canada and Sweden are among the injured.

The passengers were from Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Equinox and Serenade of the Sea cruise ships. Both ships left Florida on Friday for Mexico. By Tuesday evening, six passengers returned to their ships and 13 remained in hospitals in Tulum and Chetumal.

Chris Brawley, a cruise ship passenger and participant in a later bus trip to the archeological site, said the sky was clear and the road was dry.

Carrie Vanrenterghem, an American citizen who was aboard a bus that preceded the crashed bus, told ABC News she saw the wreckage as her bus returned from the ruins. She said one side of the overturned bus was "smashed" and the "whole windshield was gone. You could tell that somebody had probably gone through the windshield."

Family members told CBS News that one fatality was a woman, 78, from the Miami area. She was traveling with four others in her family. Two were injured and two are unaccounted for.

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