One Canadian was among 12 people killed in a bus crash in eastern Mexico, Global Affairs Canada said Wednesday.
Three other Canadians were among the 20 injured in the incident, which took place when the bus carrying cruise ship passengers flipped over on a narrow highway in the state of Quintana Roo on Tuesday, Global Affairs said. The bus was headed toward Mayan ruins when the crash occurred.
“Consular officials in Ottawa and in Playa del Carmen, Mexico are in contact with affected Canadian citizens as well as family members and are providing consular assistance as required,” spokesman Philip Hannan said. “Due to privacy considerations, further details cannot be disclosed at this time.”
Mexican officials said eight Americans, two Swedes, and one Mexican were the others killed in the crash.
The injured bus driver was taken into custody, the state government said.
Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises confirmed that 27 passengers from two of its cruise ships were on the bus at the time of the crash.
“Our hearts go out to all those involved in the bus accident,” company spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said in a statement. “We are doing all we can to care for our guests, including assisting with medical care and transportation.”
Some of the passengers injured in the crash were taken to local hospitals, while others were transported to the U.S. for treatment, Martinez said.
Video images from the scene show the bus on its side in vegetation off the two-lane highway. Some survivors could be seen lying on the pavement while others were able to walk.
Quintana Roo state authorities said 13 people remained in hospital.
Chris Brawley, of Haslet, Texas, was on one of the two cruise ships that had passengers on the crashed bus and was taking a different bus to the ruins. He said his bus passed by just minutes after the accident and he observed skid marks on the dry pavement.
Brawley said the ship he was sailing on, the Serenade of the Seas, sailed out of Mahahual Tuesday around 5:30 p.m., a couple hours after its scheduled departure. It was docked Wednesday up the coast in Cozumel.
“Captain informed us this morning one of our passengers passed overnight,” Brawley said.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.
— with files from the Associated Press
The Canadian Press