A bus carrying Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers looking forward to a day at the Mayan ruins on Tuesday flipped over in southeastern Mexico, killing 12 people and injuring at least 18 people, including Americans, officials said.
The bus carrying 31 people — 27 of them passengers of Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Equinox and Serenade of the Seas — were heading to Chacchoben, about 110 miles south of Tulum, from the port at Mahahual just after 9 a.m. when it crashed on a narrow, two-land road with no shoulder or guardrail. The convoy of buses left the port and were on the road for nearly an hour.
Seven Americans and two Swedes were injured, said Vicente Martin, spokesman for the Quintana Roo state Civil Defense agency. Seven injured tourists returned to their boat Tuesday night while 13 remained hospitalized. Eleven tourists, including one child, and a Mexican tour guide were killed, Quintana Roo state prosecutor’s office said. The nationalities of the tourists have not been released.
“The news from Costa Maya about a bus accident involving #CelebrityEquinox & #SerenadeoftheSeas guests is heartbreaking. Our hearts go out to all those involved. We are doing all we can to care for our guests, including assisting with medical care and transportation,” the cruise line said in a tweet.
Chris Brawley, a passenger on the Serenade of Seas, was on a bus headed to the same Mayan ruins when they came on the scene minutes after the crash.
“The bus clearly lost control somehow as there were swerve marks all over the road surface,” Brawley said, adding that the driving conditions were dry and it was clear skies that morning.
Brawley, of Haslet, Texas, said his ship departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Friday for a seven-day cruise. They were in Roatan, Honduras, on Monday and were scheduled to be in Cozumel on Wednesday.
Video from the scene showed the bus on its side in the vegetation. Some passengers were lying on the pavement while others were walking around. One body lay on the roadside covered by a white sheet or other object, as the crash scene was cordoned off with yellow police tape.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said it was aware of reports of Americans injured in the crash. Investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash. U.S. Consulate in Merida was ready to provide assistance.
Costa Maya Mahahual, the bus company involved, said in a statement that in addition to the tourists, a guide and driver were aboard the bus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.