8 Americans among 12 killed in Mexico tour bus crash

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

MEXICO -- Eight Americans are among 12 people killed when a tour bus crashed in Mexico on Tuesday, officials said.

Two of the other fatalities were Swedes, one was Canadian and one was Mexican, said the tourism ministry of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, where the crash occurred.

At least one minor is among the dead, according to the government of Quintana Roo.

READ MORE: 12 reported dead as foreign tourist bus crashes in Mexico

Fourteen others were injured, including four Americans, the tourism ministry said. Tourists from Brazil, Canada, and Sweden were also injured. The driver was detained, the tourism ministry said.

Guests from two cruise ships were on the tour bus, Royal Caribbean said. The cruise ships -- the Celebrity Equinox and Serenade of the Seas - both left Florida several days ago.

"Our hearts go out to all those involved," Royal Caribbean spokesman Owen Torres said. "We are doing all we can to care for our guests, including assisting with medical care and transportation."

The U.S. State Department said in a statement, "We express our heartfelt condolences to all those affected by this tragedy. We are in contact with local authorities and will continue to monitor the situation. We have staff on the scene and at local hospitals to assist victims and loved ones."

Vítor Maciel Fontes Jacques, 32, from Brazil, was on the bus.

"There were dead people - we saw some people that were still tied to their seat belt," he said.

He said he broke his clavicle and a family member suffered a head injury.

American Carrie Vanrenterghem, who traveled with her two daughters to the same excursion on a bus directly in front of the one that crashed, said she saw the bus being towed away on their way back from the Mayan ruins.Vanrenterghem said that one of the sides of the bus was "smashed" after it fell on its side and that the "whole windshield was gone."

"You could tell that somebody had probably gone ... through the windshield," she said, describing the scene as a "hard" sight to see.

"It could have been us that could have been on that bus," Vanrenterghem. "My prayers are for these families."